Concentration of Substance Abuse Programs in Harlem, 2019

Since Robert Rodriguez’s election to New York State Assembly, the number of substance abuse programs in his district #68 has exploded to become larger than any other district in New York City.

Based on our 2019 data request via FOIL (Freedom of Information Law), we are able to display a map of substance abuse programs by NY State Assembly districts. The data shows that since Robert Rodriguez’s election, the number of substance abuse programs in his district has exploded to become larger than any other district in New York City.  [note the darkest district on this map]

As you know, New York State Assembly Districts have equal population counts, and thus Robert Rodriguez’s District 68 is shockingly oversaturated with 44 such programs.  By comparison, 46 other districts have less than 10 substance abuse programs, and 5 districts have none.

Compounding this oversaturation of Robert Rodriguez’s district is the fact that the second highest count of substance abuse programs is located in NY State Assembly District 70 – immediately adjacent.

Consistent with this data, in our earlier post, you can see that 76% of the patients getting drug treatment in Harlem’s substance abuse clinics do not reside in Harlem.

76% of those treated in Harlem are not from Harlem
In our earlier post, you can see that 76% of the patients coming into Harlem for drug abuse treatment do not reside in Harlem (click here to read more). With a different perspective, we can look at the density of methadone clinics by 5 borough.
Oversaturation of Manhattan relative to other borough

Hover over map to reveal Assembly Districts and number of substance abuse programs found in each.

How can you help Harlem?

Meeting NYS Assembly Person, Robert Rodriguez

Let your NYS Assembly member that fair share policies must be implemented today!

As you know, OASAS – the state agency that licenses ever addiction services program in New York State – is based up in Albany. New York State Assembly member, Robert Rodriguez’s chief of staff has suddenly gotten wind of The Greater Harlem Coalition and reached out to us to tell us what Robert Rodriguez is doing to stop oversaturation.

The meeting is scheduled on:

Monday, May 6, 2019
6pm
Robert Rodriguez offices
55 East 115th Street, NY, NY 10029
(Madison/115th Street )


Please check your calendar and see if you can make it.  We need a show of numbers to make sure that the Assembly Member takes our message about oversaturation back to Albany.

We really hope to see you there.

A Letter from OASAS in Response to Our Email to Gov. Cuomo

The Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) recently sent us a letter in response to our concerns about the proposed facility for mental health and substance abuse services.

The Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) recently sent us a letter in response to our concerns about the proposed facility for mental health and substance abuse services on West 124th Street, between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Ave.

We encourage our supporters to read the letter attached and help us to find ways to decrease the number that are concentrated in Harlem. These concentration of services include substance abuse facilities, homeless shelters and halfway houses, and mental health facilities.

Greater Harlem Coalition supports the need for easy access of all of these services to New Yorkers, but feel it is time to share these services and distribute them evenly across the city and state.

Postcard Party: Saturday, April 27, 2019

Notify your representative you are against the oversaturation of addiction facilities in Harlem.
Place: Greater Calvary Baptist Church
43-55 West 124 Street
New York, NY 10027

Please join Greater Calvary and other community stakeholders opposed to efforts to locate yet another drug treatment facility in Harlem. We value recovery services and programs, but Harlem is already oversaturated with drug treatment facilities—even though only 10% of the clientele served by these facilities live in Harlem!

We are just shy of 300 postcards for the first 3 months of this year, and are aiming for 500 cards by May 2019. Come help us. It takes a half hour to write 5 postcards and possibly make a world of difference.

Event: Postcard Party

Place: Greater Calvary Baptist Church
43-55 West 124 Street
New York, NY 10027

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019
1pm– 3pm

Sign the Petition for Fair Share Practices in New York City

We oppose the addiction and psychiatric facility Mount Sinai plans to open on 124th St between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd.

Click here to sign our petition:

The Greater Harlem Coalition (GHC) is a grassroots gathering of Harlem based resident associations, businesses, and faith-based organizations. As neighbors, we firmly support and respect the right of people struggling with addiction to get the services they need. However, the policy of The New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to routinely site substance abuse programs in low-income communities of color has led to the extreme oversaturation of these programs in Harlem and East Harlem.

Oversaturation in the vicinity of 125th Street has had a negative impact on our community and is in violation of the Fair Share Guidelines of the City of New York. Moreover, it has a counterproductive effect on the patients of those facilities. History and data has shown that a problem cannot be eradicated when it’s concentrated (be it poverty, crime, or addiction). Ignoring the existing oversaturation, Mount Sinai plans to add an additional addiction treatment/psychiatry program on 124th Street between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, that is set to add another 350 patients commuting into the area daily (total of 2,500 patients enrolled at a time).

This is an issue of public health and public safety. The facilities currently operating addiction treatment clinics are not adhering the federal and state obligations set forth by OASAS and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – there is no program in place to mitigate the environmental and health risk of having several hundreds of vulnerable patients (75% of whom travel for treatment from outside of Harlem) clustered together. It has led to a concentration of illegal drug dealers who prey on this population. Mount Sinai, who already operates an 800-patient methadone clinic directly across the street from the proposed facility, has stated that they cannot afford to ensure public safety outside their programs despite the health impact this has on their patients.

We therefore believe that until Mount Sinai addresses the existing issues, they have not earned the right to expand their addiction services and add hundreds and hundreds of other patients suffering from mental illness.

To: Mount Sinai Hospital, Mayor of the City of New York Bill DeBlasio, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 
From: [Your Name]

Us, the undersigned are petitioning the following:

1. We oppose the facility Mount Sinai plans to open on 124th St between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd.

2. We request that the licenses of currently operating facilities be reevaluated and a comprehensive action plan be implemented to address public safety and positive health outcomes for existing at-risk patients.