Chicago Awarded an Anticipated $17 Million CDC Grant to Bolster Overdose Prevention
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CHICAGO — The City of Chicago has been selected as a recipient of a $17 Million grant over five years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address the opioid epidemic through the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program. The grant represents a transformative opportunity to strengthen ongoing efforts in combatting the overdose crisis and reducing overdose-related harms.

The CDC's OD2A program plays a vital role in advancing the nation's response to the opioid epidemic. OD2A supports funded jurisdictions to implement prevention activities and to collect accurate, comprehensive, and timely data on nonfatal and fatal overdoses. This data is used to enhance programs and data monitoring efforts. With this grant, Chicago will be able to respond more quickly, effectively, and equitably to residents' needs, using data to drive action to reduce overdose deaths and related harms.

"This grant will provide vital assistance that will uplift our ongoing work to bring compassionate care to those that are struggling with substance abuse," said Mayor Brandon Johnson. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to utilizing the full force of government to foster and nurture a healthier community, providing brighter futures for all Chicagoans."

"We are thrilled to award this grant to Chicago and support their continued effort to prevent drug overdose and improve the lives of residents," said CDC Division of Overdose Prevention Director Grant Baldwin, PhD, MPH. "Through the OD2A program, CDC is empowering jurisdictions with the necessary tools and resources to collect, analyze, and use data to inform prevention activities that make a significant impact in communities."

Using the OD2A funding, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is piloting the use of "Public Health Vending Machines" to deliver free general hygiene, health, and harm reduction supplies to individuals experiencing substance use disorder (SUD), homelessness, or similar vulnerabilities in Chicago.

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Other OD2A funds will allow CDPH to continue and expand partnerships across 10 different programs that support harm reduction, linkage to care, and improvements overdose reporting and data analysis capacity. Projects range from a post-overdose response pilot program on the West Side (link to CARE dashboard) to the innovative Medication Assisted Recovery NOW (MAR NOW) Program, which has connected over 600 people to opioid treatment and will be expanding to serve people with alcohol use disorder on December 1st. OD2A supports partnerships with public safety entities as well, allowing CDPH to work with Chicago Police Department on the Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program and Cook County Sheriff's Office to ensure access to harm reduction services for individuals leaving Cook County Jail.

The pilot program will begin Friday, November 17th, and aims to help prevent overdose while also supporting the health and wellbeing of people in Chicago. The vending machines will feature artwork from local artists and be located at five locations across the city identified as "hot spots" for opioid-related emergency medical responses based on a geographic analysis conducted by CDPH :
  • Uptown Library: 929 W Buena Ave – in the front lobby
  • Garfield Community Service Center: 10 S Kedzie – in the main lobby on the first floor
  • Harold Washington Library Center: 400 S State St – on the 3rd floor (elevator access available)
  • 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line CTA Station: 14 W 95th St – North Terminal building outside of the turnstile
  • Roseland Community Triage Center: 200 E 115th St – in the entryway before the main doors on the first floor

"We are constantly looking for new ways to reach more people and offer no cost harm reduction resources that can help save lives," said CDPH Acting Commissioner Fikirte Wagaw. "With support from CDC's OD2A, we can do more to address the opioid crisis in Chicago, and share data with other jurisdictions to have a national impact on this pressing public health challenge."

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A range of supplies will be available in the vending machines. CDPH will change the available products according to usage patterns and suggestions from the community. As a part of the pilot program, the vending machines will contain:
  • Narcan (naloxone)
  • Fentanyl Test Kits
  • Xylazine Test Kits
  • General Hygiene Kits
  • Menstrual Hygiene Kits
  • Socks & Underwear

The Public Health Vending Machines work just like regular vending machines, except all of the items are free. All you need to access supplies is a unique PIN code that will work at all 5 of the machines. CDPH is collaborating with hosting agencies and local partners to help  individuals sign up to receive a PIN at multiple community organizations near the vending machines.

To get a PIN code, there are several options:
To get a PIN code, you will need to provide your zip code of most recent residence. You will also be asked some optional demographic and other information, which CDPH will use to evaluate the effectiveness of this pilot program.

All machines have Narcan (naloxone), the medication that reverses an opioid overdose available without a PIN code. To access Narcan at any machine, simply key in "1234" and the item identification number. This information is also posted on every machine.
  • More information about OD2A can be found here.
  • If you have suggestions on what products the machines should offer please fill out this survey:

In addition to harm reduction, CDPH supports treatment options for people with opioid use disorder, including expanded access to medication-assisted recovery (MAR). Through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR), people can call the Illinois Helpline 24 hours a day/7 days a week and receive a referral for a raid telehealth appointment with a provider who can  prescribe medication at 833-234-6343.

Filed Under: Government, City

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