The Greater Harlem Coalition placed a FOIL request to New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in February 2022 to obtain data on the number of syringes distributed and recovered by needle exchange programs. The resulting FOIL data allowed The Greater Harlem Coalition (GHC) to compare the number of syringes distributed to the number recovered. It also provided GHC with information about the spatial distribution of syringe concentrations.
The visualization below shows how the number of syringes distributed in New York City has steadily increased, year after year (the only exception being 2020 due to COVID-19):
And, while DOHMH does not have syringe recovery data stretching back as far, when placed on the same scale as the graph above, the number of needles recovered by all agencies in all 5 boroughs, is truly shocking:
The data shows how the syringe recovery programs touted by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and numerous harm reduction programs are having a non-existent impact.