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New Harm Reduction Vending Machine Provides Free Narcan and Fentanyl Test Strips

A new harm reduction vending machine is now available at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s McDonald/Wright location in Hollywood, providing free access to Narcan and fentanyl test strips for the community.

Operated by one of the Center’s community partners, Community Health Project LA, the vending machine allows members of the community to freely access Narcan (also known as naloxone) and test strips to help combat the rising rates of opioid deaths in the community. 

For more information about the Center’s substance use and recovery services, click here or call 323-993-7500.

Where did the idea for a harm reduction vending machine come from?

The philosophy of harm reduction itself comes from sex workers and people who use drugs, which instructs the community how to best provide help while respecting each person’s bodily  autonomy. The Center was approached by one of our community partners, Community Health Project LA (CHPLA), to house one of their harm reduction vending machines. CHPLA has been bringing harm reduction services, syringe access and outreach to communities in LA since 1992, including to our own Center community with syringe access and drug testing every Thursday and Saturday. 

How does the vending machine work? What are the hours it is available to access?
The vending machine works just like any other vending machine, with the exception that it is delivered without cost! It is available to access whenever the front doors of the Center are open at our McDonald/Wright location

Where can I learn how to use testing strips and Narcan?

Opioid overdose response training is now a part of any Basic Life Support training. However Narcan is designed to be used easily via nasal administration, and we want to empower our community to respond safely and effectively.

Watch • 2:40

How to use naloxone

Why is it important to have these resources available to the community?

There is an increasing need for opioid overdose prevention due to overdose numbers only increasing the past two decades. Nearly 108,000 people died in the USA of drug overdoses in 2021, nearly 50% higher than in 2019, and approximately two-thirds of those deaths involved fentanyl or another synthetic opioid, with lack of harm reduction programs for communities. The quantifiable need to make naloxone readily available, low barrier and needs-based access constructed on equity. We are all impacted by this wave of overdose death, equipping our community with one of the most effective antidotes only makes sense. 

What other substance use and recovery services does the Center provide? How can I make an appointment?

The Center has a wide variety of support for people who use drugs regardless of situation or goals. We have one-on-one counseling, group therapy, medication assisted therapy, harm reduction appointments, intensive outpatient programs with evening hours available.

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