In New York City, more and more restaurants and bars keep overdose prevention kits on hand

Restaurants typically have a few familiar lifesaving tools somewhere in the “house”: first-aid kits, illuminated fire exits, and Heimlich maneuver diagrams. Across New York City, another tool is becoming increasingly common. Overdose prevention kits that include proactive and reactive measures, like fentanyl test strips and the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, are popping up at bars and restaurants across the five boroughs, Eater New York reports. These so-called harm reduction tools are being offered at no cost to customers, amid rising numbers of overdoses in public restrooms and places. “We want to keep our community safe, and we’re not going to naively pretend recreational drug use doesn’t happen in the neighborhood,” said Chelsey Ann, director of events and partnerships at the Lower East Side Caribbean restaurant Las’ Lap. Not all business owners share that same sentiment—some fear that law enforcement will think their venues condone drug use. But Darryl Phillips, executive director of the ASAP Foundation, a nonprofit which donates harm-reduction kits, said that more and more settings see the value of having these kits available. “In addition to restaurants, we have [fentanyl testing strips] at barber shops, clothing stores, and galleries,” he said. —Alex Hinton