Is New York City Ready For Supervised Injection Sites For Heroin Users?
As New York mulls supervised injection sites, officials can look to Canada for a real-life example of how the idea plays out beyond theoretical discussions. And in other news on the national drug crisis: elder abuse; and death rates may have crested in Ohio.
The New York Times:
Opioid Crisis Compels New York To Look North For Answers
An aging construction worker arrived quietly in the building’s basement, took his seat alongside three other men and struck his lighter below a cooker of synthetic heroin. A woman, trained to intervene in case of an overdose, placed a mask over her face as his drug cooked and diluted beneath a jumping flame. He injected himself, grew still and then told of the loss of his wife who died alone in her room upstairs — an overdose that came just a few months before this social service nonprofit opened its doors for supervised injections. (Goodman, 5/21)
Elder Abuse And Opioid Deaths: What Did Lawmakers Do About It?
Lawmakers learned last year that the state Department of Health investigated too few complaints of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults at long-term care facilities. There was bipartisan support to strengthen protections for seniors and increase oversight of care providers. But advocates say the changes in the supplemental budget bill are watered down and in some cases are a step backwards. Minnesota leaders do plan to continue to study the issue with several task forces and working groups. (Magan, 5/21)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Have Opioid Deaths In Northeast Ohio Finally Crested? Evidence Suggests Yes
The number of deaths attributed to heroin and other opioids dropped in recent months in what medical and law enforcement officials say is the first sign of optimism that the fight against the deadly opioid epidemic might be working. The decline comes after eight years where deaths climbed dramatically, caused by the wide availability of pain pills, heroin abuse and the emergence of synthetic opioids like fentanyl. (Ferrise, 5/21)