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June 16, 2023

Vending Machines—A Surprising New Use for an Old Device

New innovations such as diversion and deflection programs have sprouted up all across the country as law enforcement realize that long term recovery, an admittedly sometimes difficult goal to achieve, is better served by directing those with substance use disorder (SUD) into addiction services rather than involving the criminal justice system.

Sheriffs in particular, who manage jails that are often the largest provider of health care and addiction services in their jurisdictions, have implemented numerous programs, partnerships, continuum of care reentry systems and more to garner success in addressing this ever-growing epidemic that continues to takes lives every day. As first responders, law enforcement have also found new tools to help navigate overdose situations where there is a very narrow window for treatment. A recent innovation involving resource distribution has been the introduction of vending machines in jails to distribute free naloxone (an effective countermeasure and the primary opioid overdose reversal agent), educational materials, and other items which can be used to assist those who are seeking help.

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