THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of an automated harm reduction dispensing machine is associated with increased access and use of harm reduction products and services, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.
Daniel Arendt, Pharm.D., from the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati, evaluated the impact of an automated harm reduction dispensing machine on the local accessibility of harm reduction services versus the number of supplies distributed by the same organization in the previous year. Harm reduction products and services include naloxone, sharps containers, safer injection/smoking kits, pregnancy tests, HIV tests, and substance use disorder treatment.
Arendt reports that since installation, 637 individuals registered with the program, 12 percent of whom had never reportedly used harm reduction services before. In the first year of use, the machine dispensed 3,360 naloxone doses and 10,155 fentanyl test strips, more than any other syringe service program in the county. Additionally, the installation was associated with a lower countywide incidence of unintentional overdose death and HIV.
"I think it was really striking to see just how much use it got almost immediately compared to other in-person syringe service programs," Arendt said in a statement. "Recognizing how many people were out there looking for something like this or needing something like this was really surprising."
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