Mayor de Blasio Announces 85 Percent Reduction in K2 Related Emergency Visits


(DCA) May 31, 2016 — Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) First Deputy Commissioner Alba Pico today announced an 85 percent decline in synthetic cannabinoid-related emergency department visits since July 2015, when the Health Department raised the alarm about a dangerous increase in the number of New Yorkers admitted in emergency rooms due to the use of this dangerous drug, commonly known as K2.

“Working collaboratively with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the NYPD and our Health Department, our city responded quickly to the threat of synthetic cannabinoids, and we will continue to send a clear message that K2 and other substances like it have no place in New York City,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The drop in emergency department visits is a clear sign that our strategy is working, and that fewer New Yorkers are being harmed by this dangerous and deadly drug.”

Reductions in emergency department visits followed a multi-agency enforcement strategy to remove K2 products from stores. Enforcement actions, required by the City Council, and led by the NYPD Civil Enforcement Unit and the Departments of Health and Consumer Affairs (DCA) began in July of last year, and are ongoing.

Enforcement efforts have been focused on neighborhoods with disproportionately high rates of K2-related ED visits.

“The dangerous proliferation of K2 in our communities, especially in my district in East Harlem, required decisive and immediate action. Thanks to the Council’s legislation mandating stiffer penalties for the sale of K2 products and robust enforcement efforts by the City, we now see a dramatic 85 percent reduction in K2 related emergencies. This harmful drug has no place on our streets; I thank the City for working with us to end the K2 epidemic. In conjunction with interagency meetings with residents and community stakeholders, the City is effectively responding to a broad array of quality of life concerns on 125th street,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“Protecting the health of New Yorkers has been the priority of all of our efforts on synthetic cannabinoids,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “We’re encouraged that reducing sales of K2 and increasing public awareness have led to an 85 percent reduction in K2-related emergencies. We will continue to work to reduce the health consequences of K2.”

Source: Mayor de Blasio Announces 85 Percent Reduction in K2 Related Emergency Visits | City of New York