New York City will install 10 vending machines that dispense Naloxone and clean needles to help fight the opioid crisis

Drug users who aresproportionately burdened by overdoses will be helped by a pilot program for public health vending machines.

In December, the Fund for Public Health in New York opened a request for proposals to install 10PHMVs that will give out the anti-overdose drug naloxone, sterile needles, and other harm reduction and wellbeing supplies to drug users in neighborhoods across the city.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 1 million people have died from overdoses in the US since 1999.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported that 2,062 people died from accidental overdoses in New York City in 2020. Black and Latino residents in neighborhoods with the highest rates of poverty reported the most overdose deaths in 2020.

The Fund for Public Health in New York says that "racial equity does not mean simply treating everyone equally, but rather, allocating resources and services in such a way that explicitly addresses barriers imposed by structural racism."

The initiative is expected to cost taxpayers $730,000 and will help prevent overdoses. South Bronx, East Harlem, Union Square, and Brooklyn's East New York are some of the potential neighborhoods to place the machines.

There are successful pilots in Europe, Canada, and Australia of the new strategy to combat high-barrier access to health and well-being supplies. Las Vegas, Nevada, and Cincinnati, Ohio are some of the US cities that New York hopes to model its program on.

New York became the first city in the US to allow supervised consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told NPR in November that the overdose crisis is worsening. "This is something that we feel deep conviction about and we need to address it quickly."

Kassandra Frederique, head of Drug Policy Alliance, told NPR that these types of programs could be a game-changer.

Drug overdose prevention strategies are controversial in New York.
Mayor Eric Adams and former Mayor Bill de Blasio support overdose prevention methods. According to the New York Times, four of the city's five district attorneys support safe injection sites.

The leader of the NYC Black Lives Matter told the New York Post that he would be in favor of the vending machines if they were put in Central Park, Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue. Our children should not have to walk past people who are congregating around machines.

Some local residents and law enforcement officers in other US cities have encountered legal challenges and voiced their concerns that these programs could increase drug use and crime.

Staten Island City Councilman David Carr told the New York Post that the program was "absurd."
Funding for the proposals will be announced on January 31.