From the McHenry County Health Department:
Four Narcan Vending Machines Ready for Public Use in McHenry County
MCHENRY COUNTY, IL – The McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) is taking a significant step in addressing the opioid crisis in McHenry County. Four Narcan vending machines have been strategically placed across McHenry County and are available for public use at no charge beginning September 27.
Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a life-saving medication capable of reversing opioid overdoses. These vending machines will provide wider access to this critical medication, offering hope and support to those affected by addiction.
Additionally, each machine will have fentanyl test strips available.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.
Fentanyl is highly lethal and continues to be found in various illicit drugs in the county, including counterfeit pills, even those sold as ‘legitimate prescription medication’ obtained unlawfully.
The four Narcan vending machines will be located at:
- McHenry County College (MCC)
- Address: 8900 Northwest Hwy, Crystal Lake, IL 60012
- On-Campus Location: Cafeteria
- The Other Side Café & Sober Bar
- Address: 135 Beardsley St., Crystal Lake, IL 60014
- Community Health Partnership (Harvard)
- Address: 62 N Ayer St., Harvard, IL 60033
- Youth and Family Center of McHenry County
- Address: 1011 Green St, McHenry, IL
These strategic locations were chosen to maximize accessibility to the community and provide assistance when and where it is needed most.
Each of the vending machines can hold 54 boxes of Narcan Nasal Spray, totaling 108 doses.
Educational resources, including brochures showcasing how to use Narcan, will be posted on or near the machines.
[Unnamed] McHenry County College leadership stated, “We believe MCC provides the space and access to many individuals and diverse populations, spreading the distribution of Narcan further across the community. We hope this initiative sets an example for other institutions and organizations. Educational institutions, especially community colleges like MCC, can share information and resources to a broader audience, multiplying the impact of countywide programs and education campaigns, and ultimately, helping more people over time.”
Bobby Gattone, Executive Director of New Directions Addiction Recovery Services (parent organization of The Other Side Café & Sober Bar), also expressed excitement about hosting one of the Narcan vending machines, saying, “We are excited to provide this Narcan vending machine to the community. It is a great opportunity to have it at The Other Side’s community room in downtown Crystal Lake, where we regularly host family support groups and Narcan trainings.”
Guadalupe Ortiz, Executive Director of Youth and Family Center of McHenry County, added, “We have seen the impacts of harm reduction and how it not only decreases drug misuse but also allows for impactful conversations about prevention and helps to foster change and growth in the lives of people who may feel hopeless. These efforts are a stride in the right direction towards a community that supports itself and collaboratively brings solutions to issues that may seem impossible to solve.”
In addition to working alongside local organizations, the MCDH is continuing to offer presentations on how to administer Narcan. Presentations can be requested here. For more information on the Narcan vending machines, please visit MCDH.info. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance with opioid addiction, A Way Out – McHenry County offers substance use assessment and treatment placement on a 24/7 basis. For support and navigation to treatment, please visit their website, call (815) 347-0385, or email INFO@NDARS.ORG.