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NYC Dept. of Health: ‘Be Empowered’ You Use Drugs ‘Safely’

NYC Dept. of Health: ‘Be Empowered’ You Use Drugs ‘Safely’

Dear NYC: There is no safe way to use drugs.

***If you or a loved one are addicted to drugs please seek help. There is no safe way to take drugs. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357. It is staffed 365/24/7. Cities have treatment centers, too. You are not alone. There are people out there, even strangers, who are willing to help you.

The Washington Free Beacon‘s Noah Pollak received a photo of this poster in Manhattan.

Notice the “find support” number is at the bottom. Above the number, we have the department normalizing drug abuse despite evidence of fentanyl-laced drugs. Leslie wrote about the link between those drugs and teens.

Don’t be ashamed. OK, I can get behind that sentiment. We shouldn’t dehumanize addicts and shove them aside. They need help, love, and compassion.

But the rest disturbs the heck out of me. There is a safe way to use drugs!?

Instead of encouraging you to get help, Florence wants you to feel “empowered that you are using safely.”

WHY is a department of health giving drug users a gold star for using drugs safely?

Florence and the NYC Department of Health think you cannot break the habit. Is kicking the drug habit a complex and lengthy process? Yes, but you can do it. Once an addict, always an addict. You have to work at it the rest of your life, but you can do it.

The worst part of the poster:

Do you know how you prevent overdoses? You seek help and quit drugs.

  • “Avoid using alone and take turns.” Yes, go ahead and share that needle with someone else!
  • “Start with a small dose and go slowly.” Yes, build up your tolerance! You don’t want to overdose on the first try!
  • “Have naloxone on hand.” Yes, get the nasal spray to use in case of an overdose. But don’t bother asking for help.
  • “Avoid mixing drugs.” Because, you know, only using heroin or cocaine won’t result in an overdose.
  • “Test your drugs using fentanyl test strips.” Yes, get your test trips instead of asking for help or finding a way to get clean. Make sure you grab the naloxone nasal spray!

The “avoid an overdose” section is also on the website:

The Department of Health website tells people how to get a free naloxone kit. The department also understands that COVID increases stress, which “can change your drug use routines, which may increase your risk of overdose.”

I reached out to NYC Department of Health Commissioner Dt. Ashwin Vasan. I can already guess how he will respond. “There are people who cannot or won’t quit.” “We also encourage people to get help and have hotlines they can call.” “We have resources around the city for people to get help.”

Who developed these posters? Who approved these posters?

NYC has safe injection sites. It reminds me of Hamsterdam in The Wire. (If you haven’t watched The Wire, you must! Best show ever.) But these centers also provide resources and help for addicts to start the journey to a clean life. As I said above, it’s a long and arduous process. Many people cannot go cold turkey and need to ween themselves off the drugs. It doesn’t happen overnight. It might take a while to convince an addict to take the first step.

The information is excellent for families and friends who have loved ones using drugs. But please get them help. I know the drug user has to want to do it. Instead of empowering the drug user for using drugs safely, show them what life could be like without the drugs. Explain what the drugs are doing to their body even if they follow the department’s guidelines.

Unfortunately, some people cannot kick the habit. It’s a reality we must face, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to help them instead of normalizing the behavior.

Don’t dehumanize the users but don’t normalize the behavior.

The fact is there is no safe way to use drugs.


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2smartforlibs | May 27, 2022 at 11:03 am

Remember what happened last time free drug use was condoned by the state?? See the Weimar Republic.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to 2smartforlibs. | May 27, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    I see the streets of San Francisco back around the turn of the century when the “homeless” were paid a stipend every two weeks. The day after the stipend checks came out, the EMTs and others were stacking up the ODs in their ambulances and meat wagons like cordw0od.

Nice stock photo of a healthy looking woman on that poster. They should have a photo of a real IV drug user who has been “empowered” for a few years.

nordic_prince | May 27, 2022 at 11:14 am

More of the “people are going to do X, so we should help them do it safely/responsibly” attitude.

“Teens are going to drink anyhow, so I’d rather have them party/ drink at home than someplace else”

“Men are going to visit prostitutes anyhow, so we should regulate it to make it safe and legal”

“Women are going to get abortions anyhow, so we should make it safe and legal”

And to provide (hypothetical) examples highlighting the absurdity of this thinking:

“People are going murder anyhow, so we should provide guidelines and safe places for them to do it responsibly”

“People are going to commit suicide anyhow, so let’s make a way for them to do it safely”

This is your brain on leftism.

These drugs are illegal. There are laws against it, yet they are available everywhere. And NYC Dept of health wants to help you use illegal drugs safely.

If guns were illegal, they would still be available just like drugs. Every criminal would have one. I wonder if NYC would have classes to help criminals use their guns safely. safely.

chrisboltssr | May 27, 2022 at 12:21 pm

“Don’t dehumanize the users but don’t normalize the behavior.”

No, dehumanize the users. You know why? They dehumanize themselves by getting addicted to drugs in the first place. If they wish to stop dehumanizing themselves then help them through, but they must take that step first. If they don’t then don’t care about them because they don’t care about themselves.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to chrisboltssr. | May 27, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    I feel the same way about drunks. It really upsets me when I hear that their addiction is called a “disease”.

    I spent a lot of my off duty time being called in, so that I could take care of the duties of the person who suffered from this “disease”. Meantime, I got thrown out of the Navy for being overweight.

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | May 27, 2022 at 12:25 pm

This is the major problem I have with true hardcore Democrats, Libertines, and many Libertarians. The whole idea of doing what you want as long as you don’t hurt others mentality.

Sure. Go ahead and use drugs. You’re not hurting anyone.

Yet, drug related crime is on the rise. Addicts abound as homeless in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore…

Fecal waste and used needles litter the streets.

Yeah. Go ahead and be empowered to use illegal drugs safely.

    drednicolson in reply to AF_Chief_Master_Sgt. | May 27, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Of course, their idea of what constitutes “harm” is as slimey, snakey, and ever-changing as every other one of their buzzwords.

    I am pretty libertarian leaning, so I will give a rebuttal to this one.
    I do believe it should be one’s choice to do drugs if they want. Just as it is one’s choice to waste their hours playing video games all day, or spend all their time and money climbing the highest mountains. It’s all the same to me.

    The problem doesn’t lie in legalizing the actions, but rather not making the user face the consequences of his decisions. Steal? Go to jail. Poop in the street? Go to jail! Don’t have any money for food because you spent it all on drugs? Well, I guess you are going to be one hungry SOB until you decide to clean up.

    Obviously choosing to be a drunk or a drug addict is a very poor choice, but the real problem comes from the government’s misplaced policies of sheltering these people from the consequences of their horrible choices. No welfare, no free food, no revolving door at the jail. Let the chips fall where they may.

    We enable addicts to continue their self-destruction in the same of compassion.
    THAT is the problem.

I have a major issue with this statement. This is how the users just keep using and never take responsibility. Apparently no one was an addict in your life!

It’s called tough love, cut them off, they must want to quit and they won’t till they got rock bottom. I can’t tell you how many resources are out there for addiction. I’m sick of it. They also can get SS disability, we get to pay once again for their addictions

Maybe you need to go to AA/Alanon and get an education

Don’t be ashamed. OK, I can get behind that sentiment. We shouldn’t dehumanize addicts and shove them aside. They need help, love, and compassion

    chrisboltssr in reply to gonzotx. | May 27, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    No, they don’t help, love or compassion. That’s why they stay on drugs because they have suckers like you who keep giving them help, showing the love and bestowing compassion upon them.

    And you’re wrong, I have a addicts in my life. Several, in fact. Some of them died from overdose. The closest, my brother, couldn’t stop doing the drugs. It took him serving serious jail time for another grave offense for him to finally realize that doing drugs and continually getting arrested wasn’t doing him any good.

    Stop helping them, stop loving them and stop showing them compassion until they help themselves, love themselves and show themselves compassion.

      gonzotx in reply to chrisboltssr. | May 27, 2022 at 2:10 pm

      No that was the quote I had a problem with, I didn’t post that right that was what I had a problem with. We actually agree
      It’s like the homelessness in Austin, they buy hotels, most won’t go but those who do tear them , get free food, free medical care
      They literally have built them a community with tiny houses, art classes, free food, fish management, a theater, it goes on and on
      Why work?

    drednicolson in reply to gonzotx. | May 27, 2022 at 1:19 pm

    Sometimes, being a jerk to your friends or family is the nicest thing you can do for them.

I can guarantee that someone who is using drugs would take great comfort in the notion of using drugs “safely,” whether they actually follow the guidelines, or not.

This is counterproductive.

nordic_prince | May 27, 2022 at 1:34 pm

What the NYC Dept of Health is doing is properly known as “enabling.”

The unfortunate fact is you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped.

E Howard Hunt | May 27, 2022 at 2:38 pm

Another situation in which the authorities are abetting an active shooter.

Who is their spokesman, Hunter Biden?

Albigensian | May 27, 2022 at 5:55 pm

Is it really worth pointing out that one of the reasons street drugs cab never be “used safely” is because the buyer (and often the seller) has no way of knowing what (or how much of ‘whatever’) is in these drugs?

Yet I’d guess those pushing this “harm reduction” meme unto absurdity are the very same public health authorities who are convinced FDA should always err on the side of ‘safety’ even if/when that means potentially life-saving drugs remain unavailable?

The Gentle Grizzly | May 27, 2022 at 6:40 pm

There’s that word “empower(ment)(ed) again.

When I see that word, it means one of several things, including it’s either going to be against the productive, or it involves some left-wing wacko program.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | May 27, 2022 at 8:49 pm

Don’t be ashamed. OK, I can get behind that sentiment. We shouldn’t dehumanize addicts and shove them aside. They need help, love, and compassion.

Addicts dehumanize themselves.

And if you knew any junkies or meth addicts or cokeheads, you would know that they are the most untrustworthy people ever to set foot on Earth and cannot be allowed even one nanometer of slack. Most of these addicts have no problem stealing from their own families – their own children and infants, even, just to satisfy their addictions – for a little while, at least.

Addicts should be ashamed of themselves at the very, very, very least. Anyone who proposes otherwise is doing society no favors, at all.

This doesn’t address how they get the drugs…. through crime. Street drugs are a crap shoot but nothing about that.

85% of heroin users never quit. That potential 15% will find it harder to quit.

Prohibition was a disaster and the “war on drugs” the same as it empowered crime. There is no “win-win” NYC! Frankly, most of the users are toast but all of this allows the continue damage to clean society.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to alaskabob. | May 28, 2022 at 6:45 am

    The war on drugs also brought no-knock raids, civil asset forfeiture including theft of “excess” cash, and “drug dogs” that”alert” when given a signal by its handler.