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New York City Public Health Encourages ‘Empowering’ Intravenous Drug Use

'This is the opposite of ‘harm reduction.’ This normalizes injecting deadly life-changing drugs...'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) New York City health officials released a series of public health adverts around the city’s subway system, telling drug users to be “empowered” by “using safely,” The Daily Wire reported.

NYC Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli shared a photo of one of the signs on Twitter, along with the caption “Don’t be ashamed you are using. Be empowered that you are using safely.”

The sign had a several “tips” for those who wanted to “use safely.”

One section, labeled “What is fentanyl?” had a description saying “Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that can be found in heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, ketamine and pressed pills.”

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A second question on the poster asked “Why is it dangerous?” and answered, saying “Fentanyl increases the risk of overdose, especially among people who do not regularly use opioids.”

The final section listed several steps to take in order to “use safely” and “prevent overdose.”

  • “Avoid using alone and take turns”
  • Start with a small dose and go slowly”
  • “Have Naloxone on hand”
  • “Avoid mixing drugs”
  • “Test your drugs using fentanyl test strips”

Borelli tweeted about the photo again, levying harsh criticism and directly addressing the NYC Health Commissioner, Ashwin Vasan.


“No, @NYCHealthy, heroin addiction is not empowering. This is the opposite of ‘harm reduction.’ This normalizes injecting deadly life-changing drugs,” Borelli commented along with the photo. “This is twisted. Did you approve this @NYChealthcommr?”

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“Does the @MTA support encouraging riders to ‘take turns’ using heroin?” Borelli continued, addressing the ad’s placement in the city’s subway system. “I mean it literally says that. Will they remove this?”

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