Vending machine at Kane County Sheriff’s Office offers overdose-reversal medication

A vending machine in the lobby of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office in St. Charles is now offering free Narcan, a drug that can save the life of someone overdosing on opioids, officials announced on Thursday.

At a press conference, county law enforcement officials said anyone is able to access the vending machine for free with no questions asked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each dose of Narcan in the vending machine also comes with fentanyl test strips, which can be used to test if a drug has been laced with the dangerous opioid.

The vending machine and its contents were provided by the Kenneth Young Center, a nonprofit organization based out of Elk Grove Village.

Daryl Pass, senior manager of recovery support at Kenneth Young Center, said the machine has already needed to be restocked twice since it was first put in on April 21. In total, the machine can hold 54 Narcan and fentanyl test strip packs.

The original idea was to put the vending machine in the Kane County Judicial Center, where the courtrooms are located, however, Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser said that law enforcement leaders spoke and decided it would actually be better located at the Sheriff’s Office, which is connected to the county jail.

“We do see a significant amount of people who come into the jail and go out of the jail,” Mosser said. “Those individuals who are going out of the jail after a stay, even of one or two days, could benefit from this if they’re going to continue to use drugs.”

Kane County Undersheriff Amy Johnson said the vending machine is a short-term solution to help reduce the harm caused by the opioid epidemic. Sheriff’s deputies also carry Narcan, which they can give out to residents who need it, she said after the press conference.

For a more long-term solution, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office has a program called “A Way Out” that helps residents with drug addiction get into treatment and stay out of the justice system, she said. Kane County residents can come into the Sheriff’s Office or call to receive a substance abuse assessment through the program at any hour of the day, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office webpage about the program.

After the assessment, the resident will be referred or placed in an inpatient or outpatient health facility based on their needs and availability, the webpage says. Those who are unable to pay for treatment will not be turned away.

As a person in long-term recovery of substance abuse who has had two overdoses in his life, Pass said he is an advocate of reducing the stigma around substance abuse, which can lead to people getting the information and help they need.

Currently, there are five free Narcan vending machines that are sponsored by the Kenneth Young Center, which includes the machine at the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, according to Pass. Machines are also located at the Elgin Police Department and Elk Grove Police Department, among other places.

“Narcan saves lives. I am a witness to that,” he said.

The Kane County Health Department recently launched a campaign, called “Your Story Matters,” aimed at destigmatizing opioid addiction and getting opioid users the resources they need to stay alive.

As a part of that program, the health department and its partners are also offering free Narcan at places around Kane County. To learn more about the campaign, go to its website at