WASHINGTON, DC — DC Health, the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) and the DC Fire & Emergency Medical Services Department (Fire and EMS) have announced the rollout of a new pilot project centered around providing residents access to harm reduction vending machines intended to provide lifesaving tools such as Naloxone (Narcan) and Fentanyl strips, along with hygiene and wellness products. Similar machines have become prevalent in cities nationwide because they provide easy access to critical services that benefit the most vulnerable populations.
In October of 2021, DC Health awarded grants to two community partners, Family and Medical Counseling Services (FMCS) and HIPS, to pilot the implementation of harm reduction vending machines in DC.
Four of the six vending machines have already been placed in locations that ensure they can be accessed safely at any time of day. In cooperation with Fire and EMS, three of the vending machines have been placed outside various firehouses in the District. An additional machine has been placed at the Whitman Walker Health Center. All machines have been strategically placed in areas with higher than average rates of drug overdose and unhoused populations. The machines can be found at:
- Engine #7: 1101 Half St. SW, Washington, DC 20024
- Engine #33: 101 Atlantic St. SE, Washington, DC 20032
- Engine #27: 4260 Minnesota Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20019
- Whitman Walker Health Center: 2301 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20020
This pilot project will evaluate the utilization patterns and positive impact these products have on the wellbeing of vulnerable communities in the area.
The District of Columbia Department of Health promotes health, wellness and equity, across the District, and protects the safety of residents, visitors and those doing business in our nation’s capital.