Picture1

JOHNS | Don’t Pour Medicaid Gasoline on New York’s Opioid Fire

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 wrote a letter to Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo last spring, offering his solution to a problem that no state seems to be able to shake: the opioid epidemic. In his May 16 plea, Myrick included stark data about the way opioids have gripped the city and the county; he noted correctly that 2017 was the “deadliest year for fatal overdoses on record” in Ithaca and that 55.3 of every 100,000 emergency room visits and 15.2 of every 100,000 hospitalizations were overdose-related in Tompkins County in 2016. The mayor’s solution is to allow individuals to legally inject heroin in the city under city government supervision. While federal and other legal challenges almost certainly linger, he wants the governor to approve his plan. Myrick argues that his proposal, “The Ithaca Plan,” lowers fatalities and gives addicts a better opportunity to seek help, though it almost certainly violates both international and domestic drug control laws.