The opioid crisis is a systemic issue that dates back decades ago – especially in directly impacted neighborhoods like East Harlem and the South Bronx. The epidemic does not look the same in either neighborhood and solving it will not occur overnight; however, Council Member Ayala is committed to addressing this issue in a holistic, humane, and responsible way.
- Councilmember Ayala provided numerous naloxone training in East Harlem and the South Bronx (naloxone is a medication that reverses the symptoms of an opioid-related overdose) at local senior centers in collaboration with Odyssey House. Participants learned about the origins of the opioid epidemic and how to recognize an overdose, and how to administer naloxone.
- Mott Haven had the highest overdose death rate in the city in 2018, Councilmember Ayala fought to secure the Bronx Action Plan, a multi-million dollar comprehensive strategy tasked with combatting the opioid crisis in the South Bronx. The Councilmember continues to advocate for this plan to be replicated in East Harlem, where overdoses deaths are actively increasing.
- Expanded the City Council’s Opioid Prevention and Treatment Initiative to $3,500,000 in order to support community-based organizations that provide localized prevention and treatment services
- Working with the Department of Sanitation to double the size of their Environmental Police Unit (EPU), which is responsible for retrieving hazardous and/or medical waste, such as discarded syringes
- Launching a taskforce comprised of city agencies, local providers, and community residents in Mott Haven to streamline the delivery of services supported by the Bronx Action Plan
- Regularly meeting with the East 125th Street Working Group, which is comprised of various agencies and local providers, to address issues on this corridor and throughout the neighborhood as they relate to overdoses, public drug consumption, and syringe litter.
Bill 0615-2018 A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to syringe exchange programs.