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 988 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 complement 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
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, OnPoint NYC 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.
The NYC drug supply is unpredictable, which makes it harder for people who use drugs to reduce their risk of overdose and other drug-related health concerns. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is commonly found in the heroin supply. It is also found in other drugs like cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, ketamine and pills from non-medical sources. Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer, is increasingly found in the opioid supply. It can cause serious skin ulcers and wounds.
Knowing what is in the drugs you use can help you make choices to reduce your risk of overdose or injury. Rapid test strips for fentanyl and xylazine are available for the public to order and at some harm reduction organizations. Drug-checking services are also available at four of NYC’s syringe service programs. Contact the following locations for the full schedule.
For questions about drug checking in NYC, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Health Vending Machines
Public health vending machines provide 24/7 convenient and anonymous access to public health and wellness supplies.
The vending machines provide a variety of no-cost health and wellness supplies, including:
Enter your NYC ZIP Code into the keypad on the vending machine to access supplies. Additional information and instructions are posted on each vending machine in multiple languages.
Public health vending machines are at the following locations, managed and operated by the corresponding community-based organizations:
Additional machine locations to come. Machines are in neighborhoods with high rates of overdose death. Specific locations were selected with feedback from community members, community-based organizations and the NYC Health Department.
For more information or questions about this project, email email@example.com
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.
Medications like methadone and buprenorphine are prescribed by a health care professional and are the gold standard of treatment for opioid use disorder. These medications have long been shown to reduce a person’s risk of overdose, HIV, Hepatitis and other bloodborne diseases. Learn more: Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder.
Other treatment and recovery services are available throughout New York State, including in NYC. These include inpatient residential programs and outpatient services catered to the needs of the individual. To find services, visit the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard