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Drug Treatment Capacity allocation is not proportional to overdose rates

In 2018 Staten Island had 50% more premature drug-related deaths than Harlem, yet Harlem has 6 times the Opioid Treatment Program capacity. As a result, many Staten Islanders have to travel to other boroughs (and to Harlem, for example) for help in their struggle with addiction.

In 2018 Staten Island had 50% more premature drug-related deaths than Harlem, yet Harlem has 6 times the Opioid Treatment Program capacity. As a result, many Staten Islanders have to travel to other boroughs (and to Harlem, for example) for help in their struggle with addiction.

Is the uneven distribution of treatment capacities justified by overdose rates?

The answer is no.

  • In 2020, 20% of overdose death took place in Queens, but this borough only has 7% of NYC’s drug treatment capacity
  • In 2020, 7% of overdose death took place in Staten Island, but this borough only has 3% of NYC’s treatment capacity
  • The total treatment capacity on Staten Island is 6 times fewer than that in East and Central Harlem. (977 patients vs. 5787 patients).

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