Overdose Prevention Van hits the road fully equipped with Harm Reduction supplies

MANCHESTER, NH – The New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition (NHHRC) has announced the state’s first Overdose Prevention Van, a new life-saving tool in New Hampshire’s opioid overdose emergency.

“The design for the van was thoughtful and it reflects some of what is missing from the way we talk about overdose prevention services,” says Executive Director Lauren McGinley. “When lives are saved in any community, there is joy in that. The van is beautiful because these services are beautiful and that needs to be celebrated.”

NHHRC operates weekly harm reduction and street outreach programs in Concord, Manchester, Rochester, Dover, and Somersworth. In 2022, participants of NHHRC programming reported reversing 1,459 drug overdoses statewide. The Overdose Prevention Van will allow NHHRC to continue this work, and reach more people in cities like Manchester where there is a high need for harm reduction practices.

“We are entering a new era in New Hampshire of applying systems that remove barriers to health for our population,” says Andrew Warner, Director of Overdose Prevention for the City of Manchester. “We must support and embrace change to do this, and the mobile model that this van embodies is just that; meeting people literally where they are and helping them get to where they want to be.”

The van is equipped with vital overdose prevention supplies: naloxone, fentanyl test strips, kits for the prevention of wounds and infection transmission, as well as syringe disposal options, all free of charge. These CDC and SAMSHA recommended practices increase access to treatment, improve public safety, and reduce deaths by Fentanyl poisoning. And the Overdose Prevention Van couldn’t come at a better time: New Hampshire has seen a 8.48% increase in overdose deaths between 2019 and 2022 according to recent data from the NH Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

“We are thrilled for our partners at NHHRC as they bring mobile harm reduction services to our community,” says Patricia Carty, president and CEO of the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester. “MHCGM sees the NHHRC OD Prevention Van as a catalyst for community, connection, and hope. The kind of connection that saves lives and the kind of hope that restores families.”

The Overdose Prevention Van is now available for participation in community events throughout the state of New Hampshire. For more information or to request the van, visit www.nhhrc.org/mobileservices.

About New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition:
New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition (NHHRC) is a statewide organization dedicated to the implementation of public health strategies that reduce the harms associated with drug use and misuse. NHHRC was formed in 2017 by advocates who successfully campaigned for the legalization of syringe service programs (SSP).