This Cincinnati vending machine has reversed more than 1,100 overdoses

The machine contains a range of harm-reduction kits as well as Naloxone and pregnancy tests.
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 6:58 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Cincinnati-based nonprofit is expanding its mission to fight the opioid crisis by making Narcan easily available.

The so-called “harm reduction vending machine” is located behind Caracole behind Hamilton Avenue in Northside.

All the addiction-fighting resources in the machine are available free of charge to anyone who needs them.

“We have safer injection kits, safer smoking kits, Naloxone and Narcan, pregnancy tests, Band-Aids, sharps containers and fentanyl test kits in the machine,” said Caracole Director of Prevention Suzanne Bachmeyer. “And an individual can get one of each once per week.”

There are enough supplies in the vending machine to serve around 1,000 every year.

“We have done a good job of getting harm reduction supplies out to the community of people who inject drugs,” Bachmeyer said. “However, with this machine, we aim to serve a broader community of individuals, so anyone who uses drugs.”

The idea for the vending machine came during the height of the pandemic.

Anyone who needs supplies can register for them anonymously through Caracole. The supplies are free thanks to government grants and private donations, and the inventory is replenished daily.

“We really kind of let people engage at their own pace, so we don’t have requirements built around the machine or participation with the machine,” Bachmeyer explained.

The machine is credited with helping to reverse more than 1,100 overdoses so far.

Around 970 people are registered to receive supplies.

“Drug use has been and will continue to be a part of the world we live in, and taking care of each other is no different than wearing a seatbelt or using condoms,” Bachmeyer said. “I believe this intervention is effective because we can engage people who haven’t engaged in services like this before.”

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