September 13, 2011Dear Friend,We cordially invite you to the release and briefing for our new report,
Beyond Methadone: Improving Health and Empowering Patients in Opioid Treatment Programs.
This report is the result of over 500 surveys and five focus groups conducted by
with research support from
the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project
. Thereport documents the experiences of patients in Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) focusing on hepatitisC care, overdose prevention, syringe exchange, police accountability, and other innovative approaches tomake programs work for patients. The report also offers vital policy recommendations that will increasethe effectiveness OTPs and improve public health and safety.
will be officially released to media, elected officials and the community onThursday, October 6
at 11am at 250 Broadway (19
Fl.) in Manhattan.
The report release eventwill include a briefing of the report’s findings and recommendations and a panel discussion with OTP patients and other experts in the field.Over the last three decades, the War on Drugs has stripped people of rights, blocked life-saving publichealth policies and created new social problems. VOCAL-NY Users Union organizes low-income people who use drugs (including former users) to replace the disastrous war on drugs with approachesrooted in human rights and public health.Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) offer methadone maintenance treatment to people who are dependenton heroin and other opioids (e.g. painkillers). Although people who seek out methadone treatment aretaking a positive step towards establishing more control and stability in their lives, there is profoundstigma and misinformation surrounding methadone. In fact, methadone treatment has been shown to behighly effective in reducing the risk of hepatitis C, HIV, overdose and incarceration while also improvinga person’s quality of life.While methadone can improve public health and reduce unnecessary public spending, VOCAL New York (VOCAL-NY)
has identified a number of concerns related to the provision of care at OTPs in New York.Accordingly, with the research support of the Community Development Project (CDP) of the UrbanJustice Center
VOCAL-NY conducted the current study to gather detailed data from the perspective of OTP patients on the key challenges and opportunities for OTPs in New York.
Briefing of new report,
Beyond Methadone: Improving Health and Empowering Patients inOpioid Treatment Programs
Thursday, October 6
250 Broadway, 19
Floor, in Lower Manhattan
VOCAL-NY members who are current and former methadone patients.
Richard N. Gottfried
, Chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Health.