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New harm reduction vending machine comes to Brantford

Health and WellnessNew harm reduction vending machine comes to Brantford

Brantford-area residents will now have more access to harm reduction supplies, for free, through a vending machine. It will offer things like HIV self-test kits, meth pipes, naloxone and crack kits as well as condoms.

It’s called ‘Our Health Box’ and it’s located at 133 Elgin Street at SOAR Community Services. It’s one of three in the province but the only one in the region.

The machine will be available 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. Monday to Friday and all day on weekends and holidays. The supplies are available at SOAR Community Services from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. when they are open.

This comes in the midst of an opioid crisis across Canada.

People looking to access the supplies will need to make an account to access the products from the vending machine. DeAnna Renn, manager of Healthy Communities at the Brant Count health unit says the account helps keep track of how much supplies someone takes.

“Branford has a higher rate of opioid related deaths and opioid related emergency visits to the emergency room in since 2017. So it’s been consistently higher than the provincial average for both of those. So that’s sort of some of the reason behind it. Secondly, we wanted to make harm reduction supplies available to clients and family members who need them 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Renn said.

The vending machine also has information on services that are available to those who use substances. It also has videos with instructions on how to use some supplies.

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