Along with marinara sauce, dough and plenty of pepperoni, Sexy Pizza locations across the state are now stocking something else at every restaurant: Narcan.
The restaurant says it’s doing its part in preventing drug overdoses from happening on its premises.
There was an incident several years ago at one of its locations. On a Friday night, a couple came in and while one person ordered food, the other went to use the restroom.
The person was in the bathroom for a while with the water running. An employee went to check on them and found them unconscious. The employee was able to call for help and medics saved the person from an overdose.
“It was kind of an eye-opening experience for us,” said Kyle Peters, the co-owner of the restaurants.
In the days and weeks after that overdose, the co-owners started asking employees whether they would like to be trained on preventing overdoses.
“When asking them if they wanted to receive the training, it was almost a unanimous yes, absolutely,” Peters said.
Narcan is a nasal spray that can help prevent a drug overdose. These days, Sexy Pizza has a couple of doses in its first aid kits within the store.
Because Narcan is easy to use, more of the training from the Harm Reduction Action Center focused on recognizing the signs of an overdose and rescue breathing.
Peters says the training and Narcan supply aren’t a way for the restaurant chain to encourage or support drug use, he just wants the store to be prepared in case something bad happens. He says the unfortunate reality is that restaurants or bars are locations of choice for some drug users.
“In a private bathroom, they can go in, they can close the door, lock the door and nobody's going to barge in on them while they're using. So that's where people prioritize — especially restaurant bathrooms because they're typically open to the public,” Peters said.
With the prevalence and potency of drugs like fentanyl, Peters hopes other restaurants and businesses will consider carrying Narcan as well to be prepared.
“The more businesses and community members are educated and trained, or even just carrying Narcan, that’s only going to spread the message that much more and help continue to keep our communities much safer,” he said.