PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia has a new tool in its fight against the ongoing opioid crisis. It’s a tower where anyone can get Narcan at a moment’s notice by hitting a few buttons on a touch screen.
But not everyone is for this life-saving tool to be in their neighborhood.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Heat Advisory In Effect As Temperatures Hit Record Highs On Saturday
Officials say this is a necessary step to save lives but some fear it will have the opposite effect.
It’s not just a gun violence pandemic plaguing Philadelphians.
“You can look at the area that we’re in now and see that there’s a serious problem,” Avian Gober said.
Officials say the city has lost too many to the opioid crisis.
“Fentanyl started showing up everywhere even in drugs that are not heroin,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr.Cheryl Bettigole said.
On Friday, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health opened a “Narcan Near Me” tower at the Lucien E. Blackwell Library in West Philadelphia.
The tower acts as a locker, which can be accessed by tapping this touch screen. Anyone can get overdose reversal supplies 24 hours a day, seven days a week anonymously and free of charge.READ MORE: J.M. Smucker Is Recalling Some Jif Peanut Butter Products Due To Salmonella
“Places like West Philly don’t have as many resources as they need to combat this deadly drug. We need to take action today,” Bettigole said.
In the case of an emergency, users can connect directly to 911 through the tower.
“It is a good idea because it’s a lot of people who need help who out here just stressing, rolling around on the ground and don’t know what to do,” Naheima Hawkins said.
Not everyone agrees.
“It absolutely enables people, it absolutely enables people. You can’t explain to me how this is going to help,” Anthony Giordano said.
Giordano helped prevent a safe injection site from forming in his South Philadelphia neighborhood. He says these are two sides of the same coin.
“We put these polls in to address the opioid crisis. Are we really addressing the opioid crisis because every single day there are human beings that they say they are caring for and worried about dying,” he said.
CBS3 saw kids playing with the screen and they were able to open a lockbox — something to be mindful of.MORE NEWS: Court Rules On Mail Ballots As Senate Race Votes Are Counted
The next tower will be at 60th and Market Streets.