To Whom It May Concern:
We are concerned medical professionals who care for people who struggle with opioid addiction.
Opioid addiction is a chronic medical condition marked by a physical and psychological dependence on opioids (often prescription drugs or heroin). As the disease progresses, patients often require increasing amounts of opioids to prevent debilitating withdrawal symptoms. As a result, many of our patients resort to intravenous injection of drugs, which is a more efficient and cost-effective way for them to treat their withdrawal.
A new documentary film, Everywhere But Safe, examines public injection drug use in New York and charts a path toward healthier and safer communities. The film premiered last month at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem, a not for profit organization dedicated to the exhibition and production of documentary films that inspire dialogue and action. Harm reduction providers, government officials, participants of syringe exchange programs and community members gathered for the premiere of the film and a follow up panel featuring individuals in the film to discuss alternatives to public injection drug use.