The NYC Health Department Prescribes 5 Smart Tips For New Year’s Eve!

December 29, 2023

As New Year’s Eve celebrations begin this weekend, the Health Department reminds New Yorkers to take care of themselves and others.

“Celebrate, and celebrate safely, New York”, said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “We want New Yorkers to have a good time, while taking precautions and making smart decisions to stay safe. Everyone should start 2024 on a healthy note!”

Here are some tips to have a safer New Year’s Eve:

1. No matter how you celebrate, help prevent the spread of COVID-19, flu and RSV by getting vaccinated, staying home and testing if you don’t feel well, and remembering to wash your hands.

To find a vaccination site, visit NYC Vaccine Finder or call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319). It is safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as a flu shot.


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2. If you are going to have sex, choose the safer sex strategies that work for you, including condoms, PrEP and emergency PEP to prevent HIV, and doxy-PEP to prevent certain STIs.

Our Sexual Health Clinics offer low- to no-cost HIV and STI services to anyone ages 12 or older, regardless of immigration status. For more information on sexual health and where to access services, visit nyc.gov/sexualhealth.

3. If you’re going to drink alcohol, try to decide ahead of time how much you plan to consume and how you plan to get home safely, if traveling. If you are not able to walk, use a designated driver, public transportation, or taxi. Eat dinner first and enjoy snacks throughout the evening.

Pace yourself and drink non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated. And please, be mindful of the medications you are taking and whether they may increase the effects of alcohol on your body.

4. If you are going to use drugs, avoid using alone. Create an overdose safety plan with someone who knows you are going to use and who could call 911 in case of an overdose or emergency.

If you are going to use alone, call the “Never Use Alone” hotline at 1-877-696-1996 before using so someone can monitor your safety by phone. If you do use drugs use a small amount first.

5. Avoid mixing drugs or mixing drugs and alcohol. Using different drugs together, including alcohol, increases your risk of overdose. If you do, go slow and use a small amount first.

Whether or not you use drugs, carry naloxone, a safe medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. If you are using drugs, leave naloxone out where others can find it.

Fentanyl—a potent opioid— is commonly found in drugs sold as heroin or dope. It has also been identified in cocaine, ketamine, methamphetamine, pills from non-pharmaceutical sources including benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Klonopin) and opioid painkillers (such as oxycodone or Vicodin).  Fentanyl poses an overdose risk to anyone who uses drugs containing fentanyl. Individuals who lack tolerance are at even higher risk of overdose if their drugs contain fentanyl.

Here are a few other resources available to ensure New Yorkers can have a healthier 2024:

Join one of the Health Department’s naloxone trainings, to learn how to recognize the signs of an overdose and respond. The training are free, and all participants are offered a free naloxone kit. Naloxone is available at no cost from community-based programs and for purchase over the counter at pharmacies.

If you witness an overdose, call 911 immediately.

Find more information about alcohol, drugs and health here. Individuals seeking support or treatment for alcohol or drug use issues can find a provider by visiting the NYC HealthMap,  the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Support’s Treatment Availability Dashboard, or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s treatment locator or by calling 1-866-287-2728.

If you or someone you know needs mental health support, is experiencing a mental health crisis or struggling with substance use, help is available by contacting 988. Free, confidential support is available 24/7 regardless of immigration or insurance status, in over 200 languages through call, chat or text.

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