Overdose-Resistant Bathrooms Are Coming To Boston

The Fix

The new system can alert employees to possible overdose cases and allow them to take action before it’s too late.

A Boston-based contractor is currently developing and implementing a system to detect overdose in bathrooms so that employees at common locations for drug use can be alerted to an overdose and intervene, according to Filter.

The technology, which detects if a person in a single-occupancy bathroom has fallen to the floor and laid unmoving for an extended period of time, could save lives—if companies agree to adopt it.

As the opioid epidemic rages on in the U.S., people without a safe place to use drugs have come to use public bathrooms in fast food restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, homeless shelters and health clinics for this purpose.

Particularly as fentanyl contamination becomes more common, overdose cases are spiking. Busy employees are unable to keep track of how long every customer has been in the bathroom and some find themselves dealing with overdose deaths on a regular basis.

This new system, created by John King, can alert employees to a possible overdose and allow them to take action before it’s too late. The technology has already been tested at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and has been incredibly successful, according to Chief Medical Officer Jessie Gaeta.

“We have about five overdoses a week in our facility, and since we installed John’s system none have been fatal,” said Gaeta.

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