What Are the Top 5 U.S. Locations for Impactful Mobile Overdose Prevention Sites?

Mobile overdose prevention van rear opening

In 2022 alone, it’s estimated that more than 109,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. that could have been prevented. This number has skyrocketed by almost 800% since 1999. But how do you prevent drug overdoses if you don’t know which locations around the U.S. to set up mobile overdose prevention sites?

When you don’t know the specific locations where people are abusing drugs, it can lead to:

  • Delayed or inadequate emergency response
  • Increased risk of death due to lack of timely intervention
  • Challenges in tracking and addressing emerging drug trends


At AVAN Mobility, we’re on a mission to make a difference. For over a decade, we’ve been crafting Mobile Overdose Prevention Vans. Why? Because we’re driven by one powerful goal: to help organizations like yours implement harm-reduction strategies that will save lives from drug abuse nationwide. Every life touched fuels our passion and reminds us why we do what we do. 

In this article, you’ll learn about some of the most impactful locations to set up a mobile overdose prevention site. When you set up in the right areas, you reach the most people and save the most lives.


What are mobile overdose prevention sites?

Imagine a van that can travel anywhere it’s needed to save lives from drug overdoses. This is what Mobile Overdose Prevention Sites are for. These vans have everything needed to help people who have taken too much of a drug and are in danger. 

Trained healthcare workers work in mobile overdose prevention sites to give a medicine called Naloxone, which can stop an overdose in its tracks. They also offer advice and support for people who want to get better.

Mobile overdose prevention sites are important because they go directly to people who need help, even if those people can’t get to a hospital or clinic on their own. Having one of these vans in a community struggling with drug abuse shows everyone there is hope and help, and that someone cares. 

In the next sections, you’ll learn about the top 5 U.S. locations to set up a mobile overdose prevention site.


Top 5 U.S. locations for setting up a mobile overdose prevention site

Many areas of the U.S. deal with drug overdoses and substance-related issues. But some regions face higher rates of it. Keep reading to learn about these areas.


1. West Virginia

West Virginia faces a tough battle with drug overdoses and leads the U.S. by a wide margin. Cities like Beckley, Charleston, and Huntington-Ashland see up to 114.1 deaths per 100,000 people due to drugs​​. This state, beautiful but struggling, shows us why it urgently needs mobile overdose prevention sites.

With high poverty rates of over 17%, the link between hardship and overdose deaths can’t be ignored​​. It tells us this crisis is about more than just drugs—it’s about helping people in every part of their lives.

When you bring help right to those who need it most, mobile overdose prevention sites can save lives. They offer quick access to naloxone and guide folks to the support and care they need. Setting up these sites in West Virginia could be the difference between life and death.


2. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona, is facing a tough battle with drug use, especially opioids and meth. This city saw about 38 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people in its county. Every month, Phoenix has around 152 cases of opioid overdose, showing how serious the situation really is​. It’s also known for a high rate of meth use, with about 15.1% of people trying it at least once​.

Having mobile overdose prevention sites in Phoenix could make a big difference. They could quickly help someone overdosing on drugs and connect them with longer-term help. With Phoenix’s high overdose numbers, these mobile sites could save lives and offer hope to many people. It’s an important and proactive step towards a healthier, safer community for everyone.


3. Philadelphia

Philadelphia is another city that needs mobile overdose prevention sites to help stop people from dying from drug overdoses. 47.4 out of every 100,000, have died from overdoses between 2019 and 2021 in Philadelphia. This is why having harm-reduction sites that can move around the city and help people right away is super important​.

In 2022, Philadelphia faced a big challenge with 1,413 recorded unintentional overdose deaths, marking an 11% increase from the previous year. Over 80% of these deaths involved opioids like fentanyl, which has become a major factor in the city’s overdose epidemic. Stimulants like cocaine were also detected in over 70% of these cases. 

If your organization sets up a mobile overdose prevention site that can go to different parts of the city to help, Philly can fight and gain a winning chance against drug overdose deaths.


4. Chicago, Illinois

In Chicago, Illinois, the fight against drug overdoses is tough. The city sees around 29 deaths per 100,000 people because of drugs, which is a big problem​. There were over 2,800 overdose deaths in Cook County, where Chicago is, in just one year​.

Fentanyl is a big part of this crisis. It’s causing a lot of overdose deaths​ in this region. Sadly, these deaths hit marginalized communities the hardest​. This shows the need for help that’s easy to reach and fair for everyone.

Mobile overdose prevention sites could be a game-changer in Chicago. They offer quick help to those at risk of overdose and link them to important support​. When your organization sets up overdose prevention sites, you can save many lives and help fight the overdose problem in the city.


5. Kentucky

Kentucky faces a serious challenge with drug overdoses, particularly in cities like Louisville and Lexington​. In 2020 alone, the state recorded a staggering 2,083 drug overdose deaths. This highlights the urgent need for intervention​. Opioids, including fentanyl and prescription painkillers, are major contributors to this crisis, claiming lives at an alarming rate​.

One of the biggest hurdles in combating the overdose epidemic in Kentucky is the lack of access to healthcare services, especially in rural areas​. Many counties in the state are entirely rural, with some even having nearly 100% of the land classified as rural. 

This increases the struggles of individuals grappling with substance use disorders and makes it especially important to focus on targeted interventions in these areas to address their needs​.

When your organization invests in mobile overdose prevention site initiatives, you can save lives, reduce overdose fatalities, and build healthier communities for all residents​.


What is the Mobile Overdose Prevention Van?

The Mobile Overdose Prevention Van, built on the RAM ProMaster chassis, is an essential tool in saving lives during the overdose crisis. Let’s see how it helps:

Safe and private space: The van provides a safe and private spot for people to use drugs, making sure they’re supervised. It has clean equipment that reduces the risk of infections and overdoses.

Client privacy pods: Inside, there are three separate pods where people can sit and use drugs safely and privately. These pods have comfortable chairs and privacy screens to keep things discreet.

Clean and organized environment: Everything inside is easy to clean and keep tidy. The aluminum surfaces are wipeable, and there’s plenty of storage for supplies. This helps keep the space sterile and safe for everyone.

Power supply and additional options: The van has outlets and plugs to power medical tools and devices. It can even be customized with extras like a sink for cleanliness and a cab divider for privacy.





Your path ahead with AVAN Mobility


Mobile Mitigation Van Awning


You most likely landed on this article because your organization is considering starting a mobile overdose prevention program. 

You learned about some of the locations in the U.S. where you’ll reach the most people dealing with substance abuse issues. 

Let Mobile Overdose Prevention Vans be your tool in combating the overdose crisis. These vans are crucial resources equipped with the necessary tools to save lives and support communities.

Beyond the statistics, it’s about people—about you, about us, about every organization stepping up to make a difference in the lives of people who are struggling. Click the button below to connect with a commercial mobility executive. Together, we can turn hope into action and save lives. 

If you’re not ready to talk to someone just yet, read through some of our other articles to help steer you in the right direction. Start with our article on the effectiveness of supervised consumption sites.

After that, take a look at our article on applying for mobile health grants. This article is especially helpful if your organization is struggling to find funding.  

Picture of Quinn Springett

Quinn Springett



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