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Danish Designer Creates Wearable Naloxone Injecting Device

This bold new step for harm reduction could make the overdose antidote instantly accessible to people who use opioids.

8 Substance

A Danish urban designer named Morten Groenning is working with the addictions department of Kings College in Denmark to create a wearable device that will make overdose antidote naloxone instantly accessible to people who use opioids. Called INVIO, the device clips on to your arm and, in the event of an overdose, injects naloxone, which can reverse the OD by binding to opioid receptors in the brain.

The gadget is still in the prototype stage, but Groenning has a clear vision of the steps he wants to take so that his product can have a big impact. His goal is for it to cost under $40, and to run primarily on body heat in order to prolong battery life.

Ultimately, Groenning also hopes to create “mini consumption rooms,” located in accessible public places and containing a camera and cheap syringes. Envisioned as green-tinted telephone booth-type spaces, these would allow heroin users to inject in greater safety—another bold step forward on the harm reduction frontier.

In the US, where drug consumption rooms and even federal funding for needle exchange remain illegal, naloxone is increasingly carried by EMTs and law enforcement officers, with lifesaving outcomes. Activists are also campaigning for naloxone to be made available in public areas like malls or movie theaters.