While the opioid crisis is often discussed as an urban phenomenon, over the last decade, upstate New York has been far more adversely impacted than New York City.
While Harlem is oversaturated with 18% of drug treatment capacities, many districts have no such capacities whatsoever
The distribution of Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) reflects the historic and ongoing medical redlining of low-income communities of color. This map of New York City shows (in red) Community Districts that have little or no OASAS licensed programs to support their opioid-addicted residents. As a result, their community members must commute to other, oversaturated neighborhoods for treatment.
This visualization illustrates how East Harlem is oversaturated by OASAS. Given that 84% of all opioid treatment programs in CB11 commute into East Harlem from other Community Districts, our community is shouldering far more than its fair share.
East Harlem (in red, below) hosts a disproportionate number of OASAS-licensed Opioid Treatment Programs, that wealthier zip codes have rejected. This graph clearly illustrates that the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports applies discriminatory medical redlining, forcing low-income communities of color to bear more than their fair share of programs.
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.