Treat the People: How We Fight The Medical Redlining of Central Harlem

Meeting with members of the Greater Harlem Coalition and walking the district on February, 23, 2021

In the geographic area of community boards 9, 10, 11, we have 4.2% of New Yorkers and a 7.5% addiction rate, yet we host over 19% of those seeking drug treatment from anywhere in the city at our methadone clinics. Our community is medically redlined– these clinics become massive hubs for drug use and drug dealing while denying those who need treatment the access to care that is effective, responsive, and respectful of the privacy that they deserve. The dispersal of methadone at these sites is faceless and parole-like. It’s a warehouse. It’s inhuman. It’s a reflection of our incarceration system. And a “solution” posed where we increase policing in the area so as to “deal” with the spillover of violence and drug dealing is no solution at all. We must address the roots of violence with community care. We must address the use of drugs in our community and those coming from outside our community with community care.

All of our Harlem residents and the 75% of those seeking drug treatment in Harlem daily who are not Harlem residents deserve REAL treatment in decentralized, small, and effective health clinics and/or in the privacy of their PCP (primary healthcare provider) in their own communities. It is completely unethical and immoral to create and sustain these large methadone clinics as they exist now. They are big business, profiting off the backs of our most vulnerable and exploiting our Harlem community. This must end.

I am proud to add a call for small scale distributed drug treatment including the implementation of small localized clinics and/or the use of PCPs to the L in my Living Longer platform, which is the health, senior care, and gun-violence prevention piece of my Kristin for H.A.R.L.E.M. political policy platform.

To read my full political policy platform please visit www.Kristinforharlem.com/platform. For more policy statements like this one please view my Medium. Please join our community efforts to disrupt Harlem District 9 at www.kristinforharlem.com/organize and/or pledge your vote at www.kristinforharlem.com/vote.

If you would like to know more statistics and facts regarding the over saturation of drug clinics in Harlem, please read my previous statement on this topic at https://kristinforharlem.medium.com/addressing-the-oversaturation-of-drug-clinics-in-harlem-5af16bc83bcc

Candidate for NY City Council District 9 (Central Harlem) Kristin for H.A.R.L.E.M. aka KRJ visit www.KristinForHarlem.com