New York Is Installing Vending Machines With Life-Saving Anti-Overdose Drugs

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This project is estimated to cost $730,000, and will tentatively begin next month.

New York City health officials recently published a Public Health Vending Machine Initiative to install ten vending machines with live-saving anti-overdose drugs in them.

“The purpose of this RFP is to support low-barrier access to overdose prevention and harm reduction supplies,” they noted.

In addition to naloxone, the vending machines will also have sterile syringes and other wellness supplies like toiletries and other safe-sex items.

Then machines will be in all five boroughs in neighborhoods most affected by drug overdoses and deaths.

“Overdose deaths in New York City are not equally distributed citywide, with some groups and neighborhoods disproportionately experiencing increases in the rate of overdose death,” they stated.

“During the 2 previous three years, overdose rates among White New Yorkers decreased; however, rates increased among Black New Yorkers during the past year and rates among Latinx New Yorkers have increased for five consecutive years,” they noted. “Structural racism in drug policy and enforcement has been linked to decreased access to services, poorer health outcomes, and increased overdose risk.”

So far, priority neighborhoods for placement include East New York, Crotona-Tremont, Highbridge-Morrisania, Hunts Point-Mott Haven, Fordham- Bronx Park, Pelham-Throgs Neck, Central Harlem, East Harlem Union Square, Rockaway, Stapleton-St George, and South Beach-Tottenville.

In the proposal, the Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) also shared that they are committed to “improving health outcomes for all New Yorkers by explicitly advancing racial equity and social justice.”

“Racial equity does not mean simply treating everyone equally,” they state, “but rather, allocating resources and services in such a way that explicitly addresses barriers imposed by structural racism and White privilege so that all people have access to what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives.”

The contract start-date in the proposal says February 7, 2022, with a June 30 wrap-up date. This project is estimated to cost $730,000, with each program costing $99,000 to $135,000.

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