New York Metropolis well being staff have begun delivering free methadone to opioid addicts amid the coronavirus disaster — sparking outrage from officers who known as it “disgusting” and a “recipe for catastrophe.”
This system was introduced Tuesday by the town’s Well being Division, which mentioned it started with a “mushy launch” final month and was increasing the initiative by decreasing the age of eligibility from 65 to 50.
“Methadone is a life-saving treatment,” Well being Commissioner Oxiris Barbot mentioned in a ready assertion.
“New Yorkers who take methadone and get sick from COVID-19 shouldn’t have to decide on between getting their treatment and defending their well being or the well being of others.”
Federal laws beforehand barred residence supply of methadone, however the COVID-19 pandemic led to an emergency loosening of the foundations for addicts who’ve examined optimistic for the illness, present signs or are at excessive danger in the event that they get contaminated, the Well being Division mentioned.
Groups of two staff every have been specifically skilled and shall be outfitted with masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to soundly make about 1,300 curbside deliveries a month to addicts’ properties and taxpayer-funded inns, the Well being Division mentioned.
Contributors will obtain at the very least seven days’ value of methadone, an oral ache reliever that’s used to stop withdrawal signs in addicts who’re enrolled in therapy applications.
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