Across the five boroughs, more than 6,800 people have overdosed and died from opioids since 2010. Addiction and its consequences is a battle the city is losing.
Spectrum News NY1 follows the opioid battle in New York City, from those addicted to those leading the fight against addiction.
Our investigative team talked to Noah Gougher, a heroin addict who has been chasing his high for years. He’s not alone. In 2017, New York City needle exchange programs handed out more than 4.1 million needles.
The Washington Heights Corner Project is one such place where users can go for support and services, including access to safe injections, supervision and education.
About half of all overdose deaths in New York City involve Fentanyl, a drug about 50 times stronger than heroin. Across New York City, someone dies of a drug overdose every seven hours.
Much of the heroin out in streets is cut with Fentanyl because it’s cheaper for dealers. To combat the problem, the New York City Police Department is spending $15 million each year to create specialized teams targeting dealers and suppliers. Many of the officers involved have seen the damage first-hand.
Lawmakers like Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) have advocated for safe consumption sites like the Washington Heights Corner Project. Others believe that getting into treatment, without the aid of consumption sites, is the best possible outcome.
Follow NY1 as our investigative team talks to those affected by opioids, from addicts to the loved ones left behind, and looks into the ways NYC is handling the crisis. The special airs May 22 at 8 p.m.
Following the special, join us at 8:30 p.m. for a live town hall with local law enforcement representatives, political leaders, addiction specialists and those affected by the crisis to focus on possible outcomes to the issues.