Narcan Newsstands: FREE NARCAN! Yes you CAN carry Narcan!

August 30, 2023

By Carolyn Bloom, Harm Reduction Program Manager 


The Connection to Harm Reduction (C2HR) program, in conjunction with AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) and Center for Housing and Health (CHH), is proud to support a free Narcan Newsstand that is located just outside of AFC’s offices on the southwest corner of Monroe and Wells in the Loop.  

These newsstands are located throughout the city including on the West Side, Rush University Medical Center and other overdose hotspots. Over 20 newsstands were created by Ashley Kinney, a Cigna employee whose project was funded by a Cigna philanthropy application. Ashley partnered with the Westside Heroin Opioid Taskforce to distribute the newsstands to organizations that committed to keep them full of Narcan. C2HR placed our newsstand outside on June 14th, 2023 and has distributed over 300 Narcan kits to the general public! 

Nasal naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an opioid overdose reversal drug. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist – meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and serves to reverse or block the effects of other opioids (i.e., heroin, fentanyl, morphine). Administered when a person is showing signs of an opioid overdose, naloxone serves to restore breathing – time after time it has proven to be a lifesaving drug! 

Last month, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed 2,000 opioid-related deaths last year in the county, the highest number reported in a single year. 

More than 91% of the opioid overdose deaths involved fentanyl, up about 2 percentage points from the prior year. Of the deaths, 56% were Black residents, 29% were white and just under 15% were Latine. Over 70% of opioid overdose deaths were in the city of Chicago.   

AFC and CHH are working directly in the communities most impacted by the overdose crisis through services offered within the C2HR program. C2HR serves participants in both AFC and CHH supportive housing who voluntarily choose to participate in the program that offers treatment navigation, overdose prevention, safer using practices and mental health counseling.    

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug use, please contact the Illinois Helpline at 1.833.234.6343. 

For more information about the Narcan Newsstand or the C2HR program, please contact AFC/CHH program manager Carolyn Bloom at 312.439.0046 

Categorized under Advocacy, AFC news, Chicago, Illinois and Inside Story.

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