Data and Research

GHC is a data driven organization. Our claimed are backed by data analysis derived from data obtained from FOIL. Below are 7 analyses from our key data sources. You can click on the data sources to see the underlying data.

1. OASAS certified twice as much drug treatment capacities in east harlem as in the entire borough of queens 

Note these treatment capacities include OTP (Opioid Treatment Program), residential  treatment, in-patient, the crisis management, of which OTP is the majority of such  capacities. 

  • Central/East Harlem (community boards 10 and 11) with 3% of NYC’s  population has 6527 capacities or 18% of NYC’s patients.  
  • These two districts only rank 5th and 6th in overdose rates in 2019  (source: NYC data) 
  • East Harlem with 1.5% of NYC’s population has 4990 capacities, the highest of all NYC, which is almost twice as high as capacities in all 14 districts in  Queens combined with 2542 capacities. Note that Queens has 27% of NYC’s  population 
  • The top 15 districts by OASAS certified capacities have 28127 capacities (or 77% of total capacities) and the bottom 15 districts have only 62 capacities (i.e., 0.2% total capacities). The top 15 and bottom 15 districts both have  about 22% of NYC’s population.  
  • There are 26 out of 57 districts without any opioid treatment options. There  are 10 districts without OTP, crisis, residential, in-patient capacities allocated,  which includes Financial Districts, Long Island City, Kingsbridge, Parkchester,  Bayridge, Sheepshead bay, Co-op City, and Wakefield.

(note: Amongst them, Co-op City and Bayridge appear to not even  have any out-patient treatment facilities, based on CHAN 2020 FOIL)


  • East Harlem is the most oversaturated district in Manhattan

2. 75% of patients getting treatment from Harlem do not reside  in Harlem

Of them, 26% from the Bronx, 12% from Brooklyn, 10% from Queens, 5%  from UES/UWS, 6% from Inwood, 8% from Mid/Downtown Manhattan, 1% Upstate  New York, 1% Long Island, 1% Staten Island. The diagram shows the density of  patients traveling into Harlem for treatment


3. There are about 13,000 adult-only homeless shelter residents in NYC, and 14% of  them reside in Central/East Harlem in the winter of 2019 right before the pandemic. 

10% of them reside in East Harlem, which has 1.4% of NYC’s population.

● While allocating methadone clinics, OASAS should consider whether the  district is already over-saturated with other social services, such as adult-only  homeless shelters 

● Many of this population do not originally reside in Harlem. Counting this  population into Harlem’s overdose or addiction rates would artificially inflate  Harlem’s addiction rates  

(source:  NYC Open Data

4. From 2010 to 2019, with the opioid epidemic raging, NYC lost  19% of drug treatment capacities or 11578 capacity of patients for all 6 programs: Crisis, residential, in-patient, opioid treatment, outpatient, and youth  program.

It appears the most expensive treatment options are cut back the most 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 

(SOURCE: OASAS BY FOIL: CHAN FOIL 2020, see more analysis here)

5. OASAS has located over 90% of Opioid Treatment Programs in redlined  communities.

By reinforcing the racist neighborhood maps of 1938 (only overthrown  by the Fair Housing Act), OASAS continues to overburden vulnerable communities of  color. 

See: 768fa1380ef3/embed

6. Locational Consolidation: Not only did treatment capacities  shrunk from 2010 to 2019, importantly, drug treatment centers also consolidated, but  existing treatment centers also expand in size turning into these mega treatment  centers. (Chan FOIL 2020)

Reviewing only OTP treatment facilities, we noticed the unique number of  addresses that provide such treatment went from 74 to 52 from 2010 to 2019.  Reviewing all treatment facilities (OTP, in-patient, out-patient, crisis, residential),  unique number of addresses dropped from 318 to 242. It appears this further limits  the accessibility of treatment to patients.  


7. East Harlem is oversaturated due to its convenient location, not local needs. (Source: Yoni FOIL 2019)

Some says that East Harlem has more drug treatment capacities because its residents have lower income and cannot afford private insurance. If that’s the case, we should expect the area with the lowest income to have the highest concentration of OASAS certified capacities. However, East Harlem ranks 19th in terms of poverty rates amongst 59 districts, but it has the highest density of  drug treatment capacities as % of the population in NYC.

For example, it is hard to conceive why East Harlem would have 135 times and 6.8 times more people who need opioid OTP treatment than in Hunts Point and Brownsville, which is the 3rd district with the lowest income and the district with the lowest income in Brooklyn. It  appears Harlem is oversaturated because of a combination of these factors: it (1) is a good  transportation hub (2) is controlled by politicians are willing to do the bidding of their  parties (3) is black and brown neighborhood (4) has a relatively higher overdose  rate (5) has relatively low real estate price which allows drug treatment centers to  operate relatively profitably (6) is a neighborhood of color, which permits special tax  abatement for healthcare facilities (7) it has a high density of adult-only homeless shelters 

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