NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City will be providing free Narcan kits to nightclubs in an attempt to battle the opioid epidemic in the city, officials said.
Mayor Eric Adams signed a bill Wednesday that allows the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to create the Nightlife Opioid Antagonist Program, which would give participating clubs five kits at a time, according to the City Council.
The city will also train club staff on how to use the anti-overdose kits.
“The overdose crisis has been inflicting pain and heartache on our city for too long, so now is the time to take action,” Adams said. “One of our city’s residents loses their life to an overdose every three hours, so it is essential we use every tool in our arsenal to tackle this crisis.”
From July to September 2021, there were 709 accidental drug overdose deaths in New York City, making it the highest single quarter on record, officials said. The DOHMH expects the total number of overdose deaths in 2021 to exceed those of 2020.
“The frank reality is that fentanyl is in the drug supply and it is present in heroin as well as other drugs, such as cocaine,” DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said. “That means the person who is using may not anticipate the presence of opioids and those around them may not be ready to respond to an opioid overdose. Having people around who can respond — including our partners in the nightlife industry — can save lives. Moreover, it is a message: As New Yorkers, we look out for each other, and we care.”