Harm reduction vending machines (HRVMs) provide an easily accessible method for people who use drugs to obtain a range of risk reduction supplies with minimal to no requirements for usage. This educational brief provides an overview of the current landscape of HRVMs in the U.S., along with detailed considerations for health departments and community partners to use when planning and implementing HRVMs.
Overdose death in the United States has increased at an alarming rate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with an increase of 30% in 2020 compared to 2019. Despite rising rates of overdose, substance use-related harms are preventable. Evidence-based practices exist across a continuum of care for people at risk of overdose; however, people at risk of overdose often face significant challenges accessing treatment and navigating systems of care. To help public health practitioners prevent overdose, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, developed the following resources and tools.
To identify how FTS and drug checking can be implemented for harm reduction purposes within health departments, the National Council, with support from the CDC, conducted a literature review and 11 key informant interviews with staff from organizations that have implemented or are in the process of implementing drug checking services. The information gathered identified 1) three types of drug checking equipment that are most commonly used in harm reduction settings and 2) strategies that local and state health departments and their community-based harm reduction partners can implement to expand access to FTS and drug checking services.
Peer support services (PSS) are a valuable component of a growing number of overdose response and linkage to care initiatives that can be implemented and supported by local and state health departments. This toolkit is for local and state health departments and community partners who are exploring opportunities to implement or enhance PSS within overdose response and linkage to care initiatives. This toolkit provides information, resources, tools, actionable steps and real-world examples informed by the latest research, subject matter experts and experiences from diverse settings across the country.
Local and state health departments are uniquely well-suited to link people at risk of overdose to care and services to improve their health and wellbeing. To support linkage to care efforts for people at risk of overdose, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, developed Overdose Response and Linkage to Care: A Roadmap for Health Departments, a technical assistance tool informed by real-world experience.
Attendees of this webinar heard from health department staff and peer support workers implementing overdose response initiatives across the country, who discussed planning and implementation considerations for integrating peer support services in health departments.
Attendees of this webinar heard directly from health department staff implementing a variety of these linkage to care strategies to prevent overdose. These strategies can be adapted and replicated to meet the needs of communities across the country.
Attendees heard from health department staff and community-based peer support workers implementing culturally centered peer support services. Rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion, these strategies can be adapted and replicated to improve care for people who use drugs and promote wellness among peer support workers.
Attendees heard from health department staff and their community-based partners about implementing drug checking services that center the needs of people who use drugs in harm reduction efforts.
Attendees heard from health department staff and their community-based partners about harm reduction vending machines (HRVMs), a low-maintenance, inexpensive intervention that health departments and community-based organizations can adopt and implement to support people who use drugs (PWUD) in the communities they serve.
This publication was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $248,980 with 100% funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S. Government.