Opioid addiction: Local face on a national crisis

As the eyes of the nation turn to a troubling wave of opioid addiction in rural and suburban communities, residents of the South Bronx are asking what took them so long to realize that there’s a crisis going on.

One one hand, residents here have long complained about sharing their streets with drug users who frequent the profusion of methadone clinics and “transitional” apartments in the neighborhood. They argue that the area stretching from the Grand Concourse east to Hunts Point has far more than its fair share of social services for the city’s most transient.

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Mott Haven faces surge in overdoses

Genesis of Bronx harm reduction: the church

Needle exchange programs were illegal in the United States at the time, despite their documented success by both the Government Accountability Office and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

An antidote in heavy demand

I was assigned to cover heroin use in Mott Haven. As a reporter I’m responsible for learning the ins and outs of the “beat,” the neighborhood and the people that call it home.

Heroin takes a heavy toll locally

According to one officer, hand-to-hand business is vintage, and the “dead drop”—leaving money in one place and drugs in another separately, is the present—and the future.

The Lady of St. Mary’s

Rivera says that soon after The Hole was closed, drug dealers sold her heroin that she tested and found positive for fentanyl, a cheap, potent opioid that dealers often use to stretch out batches.

Uninsured drug users face uphill battle

Juan sleeps on the streets and keeps his possessions in a shopping cart with an ominous mask tied to the front. He stands gaunt and his hands are ashen, thick with muscle. When Mott Haven’s out-of-sight drug den, The Hole, closed in May, Juan found his way, along with...

NYPD looks to contain a sprawling crisis

It’s a challenging position—the police are the most visible tool on the front lines of the drug war, however the responsibility is also shared between city agencies and nonprofits dedicated to harm reduction.