How Technology Is Rapidly Advancing Overdose-Resistant Bathrooms

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As the US harm reduction community grapples with the legal, cultural and political challenges to implementing the nation’s first legal safe consumption space, some innovative designers are playing their part to help mitigate historic overdose levels right now. They are bringing safety interventions to the public restrooms where injection drug use is already occurring.

A contractor in Boston recently incorporated what he believes is the first company dedicated to create overdose-proof bathrooms—or as close as he can get to that—by installing motion detectors.

“I really knew nothing about IV drug use, but of course I knew we were encountering a big problem, especially here in New England, with the introduction of fentanyl,” said John King. He was doing contracting work for the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program when he was approached in late 2016 by the group’s Chief Medical Officer, Jessie Gaeta, with a question.

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