Queens Daily Eagle: As overdose deaths surge, top NYC mayoral candidates back supervised drug use sites

As opioid overdose deaths surge in New York City, several top mayoral candidates say they will follow through on a stalled effort to create supervised use sites across the five boroughs.

Six Democrats running for mayor told the grassroots advocacy organization VOCAL-NY on Wednesday that they would establish overdose prevention centers, or OPCs, during their first year in office. 

Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang each said they would create OPCs, though Garcia said she would defer to affected communities. Only one, finance executive Ray McGuire, said he did not yet support OPCs. 

Supporters and health experts say OPCs, also known as safe consumption spaces, provide a secure environment for people to consume drugs under the supervision of healthcare workers and peers, while providing counseling, medical care and case management services. Opponents tend to take a hard-line abstinence approach and say governments that sanction the facilities condone substance use.

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