‘Don’t be ashamed you are using, be empowered that you are using safely’: NYC Health Department issues eyebrow-raising ad about drug use

A New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ad about drug use features a statement in quotes that declares, “Don’t be ashamed you are using, be empowered that you are using safely” — the quote appears to be attributed to an individual named “Florence.”

“Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that can be found in heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, ketamine, and pressed pills,” the health department explains on the poster. “Fentanyl increases the risk of overdose especially among people who do not regularly use opioids.”

The ad provides suggestions about how to avoid an overdose — among the tips, the department suggests that people “Avoid using alone and take turns,” “Start with a small dose and go slowly,” and “Test your drugs using fentanyl test strips.”

New York City council minority leader Joe Borelli expressed his disapproval on social media. “No, @nycHealthy, heroin addiction is not empowering,” he tweeted. “This is the opposite of ‘harm reduction.’ This normalizes injecting deadly life-changing drugs,” he wrote. “This is twisted.” – READ MORE

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