Washington, D.C., is making Narcan and fentanyl test strips available at vending machines in areas with high overdose rates as part of a pilot program, the city announced on Tuesday.
Six vending machines will offer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, specifically the brand name version of the medication known as Narcan, as well as fentanyl test strips and hygiene and wellness products, according to the joint announcement from DC Health, the Department of Behavioral Health and the DC Fire & Emergency Medical Services Department.
Four of the harm reduction vending machines have been placed so far, with three located outside of various firehouses in the District and the fourth at the Whitman Walker Health Center in Southeast D.C.
The vending machines are being “strategically” placed in areas with higher overdose rates and unhoused populations, DC Health noted.
“This pilot project will evaluate the utilization patterns and positive impact these products have on the wellbeing of vulnerable communities in the area,” the press release said.
The announcement comes just one week after the Food and Drug Administration approved the first over-the-counter version of naloxone, which is expected to widely increase access to the life-saving medication.