With new data from a recent FOIL request that was submitted to the NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) we wanted to map the inverse of what people typically map – the absence of something. In particular, we were interested in learning which Community Districts in New York don’t have any OASAS licensed Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs). The resulting map (below) shows (in red) the communities in New York that have no OTPs and whose residents who are suffering from addiction to opioids have to travel to communities like ours, for treatment.
The Greater Harlem Coalition has recently written to our elected officials to ask them to begin the work of enacting legislation that will stop and then reverse the oversaturation of drug treatment programs in our community:
The Bronx is Building
A new rental building has been proposed for the Bronx waterfront between the Madison Avenue Bridge and the 145th Street Bridge. This new 43 story tower will be located between the Deegan Expressway and the Harlem River.
CBS News had a great piece last night on how Harlem and East Harlem are oversaturated with substance abuse programs which has attracted unprecedented numbers of illegal drug sellers who prey on the men and women seeking treatment.
Harlem residents showed the CBS reporter evidence of illegal drug sales and use – all concentrated around unsupervised addiction programs that are supposed to help New Yorkers get off drugs.
The President of MMPIA, the co-founder of The Greater Harlem Coalition, and others all showed the reporter video evidence and presented him with the data from FOIL requests to backup their claim that New York is dumping programs in Harlem and East Harlem that they don’t locate in other whiter and wealthier communities.
When asked for a statement, the Mayor’s office gave a non statement, and failed to answer why Harlem and East Harlem have more than their fair share of substance abuse programs.
To see the full video:
25th Precinct Community Council Meeting Next Week
The next 25th Precinct Community Council meeting is scheduled for:
A neighbor wrote to Governor Cuomo and OASAS recently, asking for them to address how the illegal drug trade (which congregates around the nexus of OASAS licensed addiction programs in our community) is impacted by OASAS decisionmaking. Zoraida Diaz (the OASAS NYC District Director) replied with a refusal to acknowledge the impact of decades of OASAS’s decisions that have oversaturated our community. She and OASAS are hiding behind an “it’s complicated” defense, and refusing to meet or begin a conversation.
Here’s the letter:
Please call: 646.728.4760 and ask why OASAS is failing to take responsibility for the oversaturation of addiction programs in Harlem and East Harlem and how this oversaturation attracts the illegal drug trade to our streets.
Mayor Visits East Harlem
Patch has an article on Sunday’s unannounced visit by the mayor to East Harlem to see the rampant drug dealing and quality of life issues that plague East 125th Street.
The article notes that:
Neighbors have complained of open heroin use, garbage strewn across East 125th Street, and human waste littering the sidewalks. This week, the city closed the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Playground on Lexington between East 122nd and 123rd streets at Ayala’s request after consistent drug use in the park left it virtually off-limits to parents and children.