Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I, REF-Staten Island/Brooklyn) has taken action in an attempt to stop Mayor de Blasio’s planned government-sanctioned drug injection sites across New York City. Malliotakis wrote to State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and is introducing legislation to strip state funding from organizations that administer such centers. In her letters, Malliotakis asked for assistance and swift and determined action to keep these heroin shooting galleries, which both flagrantly violate federal law and compromise quality of life in the city, from becoming a reality.
“Authorizing these facilities will redefine the way we combat drug use and addiction on the most fundamental level. Rather than educating youth about the dangers of opioids, focusing on getting hardened drug dealers poisoning our children off the streets, and offering addicts effective treatment, we will instead signal to users that addiction is a manageable condition and you can partake in illegal opioid use nearly risk-free,” Malliotakis cautioned in a letter to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “I ask that the Department of Justice please take swift and determined action to stop this plan before it destroys New York and lays a dangerous precedent for other cities across the United States to follow.”
In the letter addressed to New York State Department of Health Chairman Harold Zucker the Assemblywoman warned of the potential consequences for addicts in need of treatment: I ask that when you make the decision of whether or not to approve these injection sites you keep in mind all the addicts who will forego rehab and continue using because of this less risky option… Once we create an incubator for drug dependency, we will do nothing but expand and perpetuate an epidemic that has already claimed too many lives as it is.” She went on to criticize current protocol and offer more viable solutions to the opioid epidemic, “At this time the most the city offers to combat opioid addiction are Methadone clinics, other forms of drug management and often insufficient short-term treatment ordered by drug courts with little to no consideration given to life beyond stabilization or death prevention. As a result of the unnecessarily high cost of treatment, families are forced to send loved ones battling addictions to the massive, short-term treatment facilities that are covered by their insurance benefits. Our city and state need to focus on making smaller, long-term rehabilitation centers available with an emphasis on reintegration into society. Before we brand drug users as a hopeless cause, we need to provide them with the resources necessary to actually succeed in treatment.”
In addition to engaging high-level officials to intervene, Assemblywoman Malliotakis is introducing legislation to prevent taxpayer funding of these injection sites by prohibiting organizations that administer them from receiving any state funds. “This will ensure that taxpayer money is being directed to programs that rehabilitate addicts and help them overcome their destructive addictions, not incubators that enable drug dependency to persist.” the Assemblywoman said.