Drastic drop in NYC’s drug treatment capacities by 19% of 11578 person per day in 10 years

Our newly received FOIL data indicates that amidst the opioid epidemic, NYC has reduced the average daily number of patients treated for drug addiction by 19% or 11578 patients a day! The most expensive, but most effective form of treatment, residential treatment was reduced by 35%, or 1537 beds. It is not surprising that complaints of open-air drug use in NYC increased and adult-only homeless shelters became too full since patients are deprived of proper medical care.

We hope patients advocacy groups such as VOCAL and Drug Policy Alliance would help support reversal of these services for patients who need help.

Incidentally, this week, Governor Hocul signed a new bill, reported by City Limits, to impose better governance on the closure of medical facilities in NYC, acknowledging such mismanagement we observed in our FOIL data. Hopefully, this law will help re-instate some of the lost drug treatment facilities badly needed by patients in Brooklyn, Queen and the Bronx.

More findings from our data can be found below:

23 districts saw the loss of more than 200 patients, amongst them, 3 districts saw  losses of more than 1000 patients, which are Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights and  Jamaica. Only 3 districts saw increases of more than 200 patients: East New York,  New Hyde Park Queens, and Bronx Park South. Other notable districts with loss of  capacities are Murray Hill, Long Island City, Midtown South, Prospect Leffert Gardens,  Financial District. 

Breakdown by program types shows these changes. 

  • 35% drop in residential program or 1537 capacities drop, mostly in Queens and  Brooklyn. 
  • 26% drop in outpatient capacities or 5191 patients with most drop from Bronx and  Brooklyn 
  • 14% Opioid Treatment Program or 4609 capacities, mostly from Brooklyn and  Queens 

[data source: FOIL data 2021 from OASAS]

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