Councilman Stephen Levin was arrested outside of City Hall on Wednesday morning. Levin, who chairs the General Welfare Committee was arrested along with other protestors during a demonstration urging Mayor de Blasio to release the results of a study on supervised opioid consumption spaces.
Safer Consumption Spaces (SCS) are Supervised Injection Facilities where opioid addicts can consume pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. The Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for drug policy based on “science, compassion, health and human rights,” sees SCS as one of the most successful approaches to the opioid epidemic, with the potential to save thousands of lives.
Currently, there are about 100 SCS facilities operating in 66 cities around the world. The New York City Council commissioned a study on their efficacy nearly two years ago. Since then, the Drug Policy Alliance has hosted many teach-ins, town halls and rallies in New York City, educating New Yorkers around SCS issues, and advocating for spaces like these in New York.
New Yorkers expected the results of the City Council’s study to come out in April, a deadline the Mayor himself set. But, as of May, the results are not publicly available.
Greenpoint Post reports that Mayor de Blasio has decreed that the results will come out “soon,” but Councilman Levin is not satisfied with that answer. “Soon is not soon enough for New Yorkers who continue to die from this epidemic,” he said.
Protestors agreed, marching behind a banner that read, “Mr. Mayor: While You Wait We Die.”