May 20, 2024
Annapolis, US 73 F

Health Department Installs Vending Machines to Prevent Overdoses

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health installed seven vending machines stocked with the free lifesaving medication naloxone, brand name Narcan. When given in time, it can potentially reverse an overdose from opioids including heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioid medications. Naloxone is easy to use and small to carry. The machines will also offer other free lifesaving tools, such as fentanyl test strips, xylazine test strips, masks and COVID-19 tests. 

“These locations across the county were thoughtfully selected to reduce barriers to essential, lifesaving tools,” said Dr. Tonii Gedin, Anne Arundel County Health Officer. “We are hopeful this evidence-based strategy of harm reduction will change the narrative and prevent death from overdose. By making fentanyl test strips, naloxone nasal spray, and other critical harm reduction supplies free and available without stigma, we can drive down the injury and harm from opioid overdoses in our community.”

The harm reduction vending machines will be placed at the locations listed below. These initial seven locations were selected based on a review of data identifying areas with the highest levels of overdose and an assessment of foot traffic and accessibility.

  • Brooklyn Park Library – 1 E 11th Avenue, Baltimore, MD
  • Deale Library – 5940 Deale Churchton Road, Deale, MD  
  • Eastport Community Center – 1014 President Street, Annapolis, MD
  • Jennifer Road Detention Center – 131 Jennifer Road, Annapolis, MD
  • Severn Center – 1160A Reece Road, Severn, MD
  • Ordnance Road Correctional Center 600 E Ordnance Road, Glen Burnie, MD
  • Glen Burnie Health Center – 416 A Street SW, Glen Burnie, MD – coming soon
  • *Health Services Building – 3 Harry S. Truman Parkway – Annapolis, MD

*This is a temporary location while the Glen Burnie Health Center is under construction

The vending machines allow people to access the drug without interacting with anyone else, potentially bypassing the stigma or embarrassment of reaching out for help. Conveniently providing Narcan at no cost will encourage all people, whether they use substances or not, to carry the lifesaving drug.

“The opioid epidemic tragically claims countless lives and devastates families across our nation and county,” said Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Trisha Wolford. “As first responders, our duty is to respond to emergencies and proactively find solutions through partnerships and prevention. Saving lives is always the Fire Department’s number one priority. We are proud to partner with the Department of Health to assist in accessible opioid interventions. Equipping our community with preventive tools empowers individuals for early intervention in overdose situations with the hopes of saving more lives.”

The machines don’t take money and were purchased through Culinary Ventures Maryland with grant funds.

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