11 vending machines with free Narcan, fentanyl strips and gun locks placed in Milwaukee County
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee County leaders are continuing to address the opioid epidemic, as overdose numbers keep rising across the country.
There were 667 overdose deaths in Milwaukee County in 2022. According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, there are 148 confirmed deaths in 2023, and more than 260 pending confirmation.
As a way to help prevent opioid overdoses, 11 harm reduction vending machines are now active across the county, funded by opioid settlement dollars.
Each vending machine includes Narcan, fentanyl testing strips, medication lock bags and deactivation pouches, and gun locks, all for free.
Harm reduction tools like Narcan and testing strips are proven to significantly reduce overdose deaths, and over the last three weeks of machine installation, hundreds of products have already been distributed.
The machines, located among health and community centers including the Milwaukee County Reintegration Center, will be accessible to everyone, no questions asked.
"We know that it impacts people of all ages, all races, and all socioeconomic backgrounds, so we wanted to make sure that we had places that were accessible and that were in the community where it could meet the needs of the people that are impacted the most," said Department of Health and Human Services Director Shakita LaGrant-McClain.
"It breaks down the barriers to this sort of harm reduction," explained Dr. Ben Weston, the chief health policy advisor for Milwaukee County.
Milwaukee County hopes to add 14 more vending machines in new locations next year.
Here's a list of the 11 harm reduction vending machine locations:
- Wisconsin Community Services, Inc. (WCS) -- 2600 W. North Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53205
- Greendale Health Department -- 5650 Parking St. Greendale, WI 53129
- Outreach Community Health Centers -- 210 W. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212
- Oak Creek Fire Department -- 7000 S. 6th St.
- Community Advocates -- 728 N. James Lovell St. Milwaukee, WI 53233
- Diverse & Resilient -- 2439 N. Holton St
- Hillview Building -- 1615 S. 22nd St Milwaukee, WI 53204
- Milwaukee County Community Reintegration Center -- 8885 S. 68th Street
- First Step -- 2835 N. 32nd St.
- AMRI Counseling Services -- 4001 W. Capitol Drive