For immediate release
Contact: Maya Martin-Udry | firstname.lastname@example.org | 646.400.7621
New York, August 18 – Yesterday, Governor Hochul and Representative Espaillat announced a disgraceful plan for opioid treatment in Harlem. In a clear ploy to placate prejudiced neighbors, the goal of this “plan for opioid treatment” is not to improve treatment, but rather to keep people who seek treatment out of Harlem.
This is not a public health plan. It does not center the needs of people who use drugs. Instead, it seeks to placate the fear-mongering of a few neighbors who would like to see all people who use drugs and all harm reduction services run out of Harlem.
“Governor Hochul and Representative Espaillat’s plan is shameful,” said Jacqui Kilmer, CEO of Harlem United. “We know that drug use and services for people who use drugs are stigmatized. To see our leaders bow to that stigma to create a plan that sweeps people who use drugs under the rug is infuriating. We are in the midst of an overdose epidemic – what we need is more funding for services, more overdose prevention centers, and a significant reduction in state and federal regulations on life-saving medications. Instead of working to save lives, our leaders are bowing to prejudice.”
Harlem United calls on Governor Hochul and Representative Espaillat to create a real plan for opioid treatment in Harlem. One that centers the needs of people who use drugs. One that is founded on the principles of harm reduction and public health – expanding overdose prevention centers, increasing funding for harm reduction services, and significantly reducing state and federal regulations for methadone to make it accessible to more people.