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Overdose Prevention Centers, Crime, and Disorder in New York City

Question  What trends in crime and disorder were associated with the opening of 2 overdose prevention centers (OPCs) in New York City (NYC) in November 2021?

Findings  This cohort study of 2 OPCs and 17 syringe service programs found no significant increases in crimes recorded by the police or calls for emergency service in NYC neighborhoods where 2 OPCs were located. Consistent with the city’s commitment to ensuring clients could use the centers free from law enforcement interference, large, statistically significant declines in police narcotics enforcement around the OPCs were observed.

Meaning  These findings suggest that concerns about crime and disorder remain substantial barriers to the expansion of OPCs in US cities, and initial data from NYC do not support these concerns.

Chalfin A, del Pozo B, Mitre-Becerril D. Overdose Prevention Centers, Crime, and Disorder in New York City. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(11):e2342228.


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