During the past decade, the prevalence of opioid addiction on Staten Island has skyrocketed, demonstrated by a sharp rise in opioid-related overdose deaths. The Capstone team performed a needs assessment for opioid addiction prevention and treatment on behalf of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for NYC, Richmond County District Attorney and Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness. The study involved 29 semi-structured interviews with five key groups: political officials, law enforcement, and people in recovery, academic researchers and service providers. Qualitative data was supplemented by an assessment of treatment capacity and service distribution across the island. The study identified a discrepancy between where services were offered and where overdoses were taking place, misconceptions about the epidemic’s demographic and geographic profile, gaps in knowledge and awareness surrounding addiction, and a lack of linkages in the treatment system. Addressing these gaps will be an important step toward resolving Staten Island’s opioid epidemic.
The Office of the District Attorney of Richmond County and Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York recently issued a press release to highlight the findings from the project. The final report, Staten Island Needs Assessment: Opioid Addiction Prevention and Treatment Systems of Care, is now available to view. The study was also referred in this New York Times article, Report Finds Gaps in Access to Opioid Addiction Help on Staten Island.
Press release: D.A. McMahon and Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan: Columbia University Capstone Report Reveals Scope of Staten Island’s Opioid Epidemic, Addresses Serious Gaps in Local Treatment Options
New York Times article: Report Finds Gaps in Access to Opioid Addiction Help on Staten Island
Spectrum News NY1 (video): Columbia Grad Students Grade Staten Island’s Drug Epidemic