New York City has many free and low-cost services for people who use drugs or alcohol. In addition to the listings below, you can contact NYC Well 24/7.
Many people are unaware of the variety of services available to protect the health of people who use alcohol or drugs. The terms below are not mutually exclusive, and the services are often used to compliment each other.
Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing the negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm reduction programs offer easily accessible, anonymous services for people who actively use drugs, those interested in recovery, and their family members.
These programs prioritize the health and well-being of their participants and include an array of educational, rehabilitation, care coordination and outreach components that meet participants where they are and provide person-centered, non-judgmental services.
Learn more from the National Harm Reduction Coalition.
Syringe service programs provide harm reduction services to people who use drugs. The programs may provide sterile syringes and other injection supplies, safer smoking kits, fentanyl test strips. They can also help with syringe disposal, harm reduction counseling, health education, overdose prevention, HIV and Hepatitis C testing, and referrals to other services.
Access to sterile syringes has helped reduce the number of new HIV cases among injection drug users by 95% in the last 20 years. Using sterile equipment also protects injection drug users from Hepatitis C and infections at the injection site.
Learn more about syringe service programs:
Overdose Prevention Centers — also called supervised injection sites — are health care facilities that provide a safe environment where people can use previously obtained drugs under supervision. People who use drugs can:
Trained staff at the centers observe and intervene if someone shows signs of overdose. In November 2021, New York Harm Reduction Educators and the Washington Heights CORNER Project opened the first publicly recognized Overdose Prevention Centers in the country. They are syringe service programs that have operated in Washington Heights and East Harlem for years.
Overdose Prevention Center services, as well as harm reduction services, are offered at the following locations:
From 2000 to 2020, the number of overdose deaths in New York City more than tripled. During 2020, 2,062 New Yorkers died of a drug overdose.
Opioid-involved overdose deaths are preventable. Naloxone is a safe medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
A peer is anyone who has personally experienced substance misuse and/or addiction and who works with others from the community in order to improve quality of life. Peers work with syringe exchanges, recovery centers, alumni groups, mutual support groups including Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and more. For more information, see our Peer Services and Resources page.
There are certain medications — buprenorphine, methadone, naltrexone — to treat opioid use disorder, usually taken along with counseling. Many studies have shown that methadone and buprenorphine reduce drug use and death, and overall, achieve better long-term results compared with treatment without medication. See the Buprenorphine Physician Locator and brochure (PDF) for one example
Outpatient treatment provides a flexible option for individuals seeking help for alcohol and drug misuse. Instead of living at a treatment facility, patients have appointments that can be scheduled around work or childcare responsibilities.
Residential drug treatment programs provide a safe and supportive living situation to people who are trying to stop using drugs and alcohol. Individuals live inside of a drug treatment facility and receive intensive social and behavioral support related to drug and alcohol use.