Answering Your Questions on IDS Harm Reduction Supply Dispensers

Harm Reduction Vending Machines provide convenient, secure, and 24/7 access to essential supplies for safer drug use, overdose reversal, and infectious disease prevention, such as nasal spray Narcan (naloxone), Fentanyl test strip kits, safer sex kits, and other harm reduction supplies.

As these public health vending machines continue to become more popular, many questions remain surrounding this innovative solution, such as how they work, what can be dispensed, the impacts, and more. In this blog, we answer your frequently asked questions about IDS’ Harm Reduction Dispensers, offering clear, expert insights into this remarkable equipment and technology.

What is a Harm Reduction Dispenser?

A Harm Reduction Dispenser offers convenient, round-the-clock access to harm reduction supplies at public locations of importance. Through this, these public health vending machines make life-saving, harm-reduction, and safer-use supplies more accessible to the general public.

What Items are Typically Dispensed?

IDS’ harm reduction supply dispensers can disp vending machines provide round-the-clock, safe access to supplies for safer drug use, overdose reversal, and infectious disease prevention, such as nasal spray Narcan (naloxone), Fentanyl test strip kits, safer sex kits, and other harm reduction supplies.

How Do They Work?

Public health vending machines are easy to use, and individuals can access supplies from the dispensing machines 24/7 without staff having to be on-site. Many users prefer this contactless dispensing solution due to stigma and privacy concerns.

To access the machine, clients can receive a unique code/PIN or card to enter and dispense the medical supplies they need quickly and efficiently. Users can receive products from the machine once the card is swiped or the unique code/PIN is input. Supplies instructions can be included on product packaging or within the kits. QR codes can also be attached to the machine’s exterior, allowing users easy access to digital instructions.

IDS’ public health vending machines can dispense harm-reduction products of various sizes and packages. Agencies can utilize a single machine to distribute an array of harm reduction resources such as secure injection sets, safer smoking kits, safer sex kits, intramuscular (IM) naloxone, Narcan nasal spray (Naloxone), fentanyl testing strips, sharps disposal units, sterilized needles/syringes, adhesive bandages, pregnancy detectors, and other harm reduction, personal hygiene, and safer use resources.

How Effective Are Harm Reduction Dispensers in Reducing Drug-related Harms?

Having harm reduction supplies readily available can significantly mitigate unforeseen repercussions and, in some instances, even prevent deaths. A study by the National Institute of Health suggests that the machine dispensed 3,360 naloxone doses and 10,155 fentanyl test strips during the very first year of implementation, which highlights its widespread adoption.

Do harm reduction dispensers encourage drug use?

Harm reduction vending machines minimize the potential harm associated with drug use and do not encourage it. The aim is to reduce the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis, prevent overdoses, and ultimately save lives.

What Harm Reduction Solutions are offered by IDS?

IDS provides Harm Reduction and Safe Needle Exchange Dispensers, facilitating the secure storage of supplies and a contactless transaction experience. The machines are designed with a temperature-control option, which includes an automatic heater, to ensure that these essentials are stored at the appropriate temperature and to avoid any condensation or fogging of the glass. The outdoor model features a Weather and Security package that can survive the elements of nature and includes rain guards, sealing for sensitive areas, vandal-resistant panels, and an impact-resistant polycarbonate window cover with a steel frame.

Powered by iQ Technology, IDS’ Harm Reduction and Needle Exchange Dispensers capture real-time data. With a robust, 24/7 reporting capability, organization managers have full control and visibility into managing harm reduction supplies, enabling real-time inventory management, trend prediction, and effective supply distribution. It ensures that the right supplies are available at the right time and place, significantly enhancing the impact of harm reduction efforts.

How Are Communities Involved in the Placement of Dispensers?

Agencies and communities are utilizing IDS’ harm reduction vending machines and technology to distribute harm-reduction supplies, paving the way for a safer and healthier community.

As Rhode Island’s largest AIDS service agency, AIDS Care Ocean State has successfully implemented IDS public health vending machines to dispense and track Narcan and other harm reduction supplies. In one instance, an individual experiencing an overdose obtained Narcan outside of regular hours using a unique code, demonstrating the machine’s life-saving potential. To learn more about the success AIDS Care Ocean Care has found by utilizing IDS’ harm reduction dispenser, check out their full testimonial here. 

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, H.O.P.E Testing distributes safer sex and harm reduction supplies, HIV self-tests, safe injection kits, Narcan, first aid kits, and pregnancy test kits through IDS’ harm reduction vending machines.

“Our machine has been really popular and took off in a way that we hadn’t even anticipated or hoped for.  In addition, it makes reporting really easy for us…really helpful for us to be able to show the impact and those outcomes very quickly using the backend software.” 

Taryn Norman, Executive Director, H.O.P.E. Testing

Watch the full testimonial here. 


Public health vending machines are providing safe and accessible resources to people in need. Integrating IDS’s iQ Technology into these machines is a transformative innovation in public health. These machines offer an efficient and compassionate solution to those needing help by providing access to life-saving supplies like Narcan. This initiative saves lives and represents a significant step forward in the evolution of harm reduction strategies, aligning with broader public health goals.

Are you looking to bring harm reduction closer to your community? Or do you need a more efficient way to manage your harm reduction inventory and usage, all while providing easy and convenient access to these essential supplies? We would love to discuss how we can help you and your organization securely and conveniently dispensing harm reduction and public health supplies. To learn more, visit our website or give us a call at 1-866-497-2959.

We look forward to hearing from you!