Chicago Airports Implement Narcan Program to Combat Opioid Overdoses

Chicago Airports Implement Narcan Program to Combat Opioid Overdoses

Nasal spray to be used for travelers and others experiencing opioid overdoses

(IN SHORT) The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) launches a new initiative to address the opioid epidemic by distributing Narcan, an overdose medication, at O’Hare and Midway International Airports. The program places Narcan inside Automated External Defibrillator (AED) cabinets across both airports’ pre-and post-security areas, enabling immediate assistance to individuals experiencing opioid overdoses. Mayor Brandon Johnson emphasizes the importance of this measure in ensuring the safety of residents and visitors, highlighting Chicago’s commitment to combating the opioid crisis. The initiative includes training for Aviation Security Officers (ASOs) and Chicago Police Department officers, facilitated by Turnkey Training, with Narcan supplied by the Illinois Department of Public Health at no cost. The program aligns with Chicago’s broader efforts to provide access to Narcan throughout the city, emphasizing the importance of swift response and treatment in saving lives.

(PRESS RELEASE) Chicago, IL, 2024-Feb-27 — /Travel PR News/ — The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has introduced a new program to counter the opioid epidemic by providing the overdose medication Narcan at O’Hare and Midway International Airports. The medication is now available throughout O’Hare and Midway, and is set inside of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) cabinets located in the pre-and post-security areas of the airports. When the cabinets are opened, an alarm is triggered, guiding officers to locations where individuals require assistance following heart or overdose issues.

“Like many other places throughout the nation, Chicago has been greatly impacted by the devastation of the opioid crisis,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Serious health situations such as overdoses can happen anywhere in our city, including our airports. By making Narcan available at O’Hare and Midway, trained personnel can give immediate assistance to individuals with health needs and ensure the welfare and safety of residents and visitors.”

There are 196 AED cabinets at O’Hare and 32 at Midway. Narcan is the brand name for naloxone hydrochloride, a nasal spray that is administered to individuals following an overdose of opioids such as heroin, fentanyl and over-the-counter opioid medications.

Turnkey Training, which maintains the AEDs and cabinets, provided the opioid overdose training to Aviation Security Officers (ASOs) and Chicago Police Department officers. Turnkey also provides CPR and Stop the Bleed training to staff throughout the airports.

“We are committed to making our airports as safe as possible, and equipped to meet any health challenges that arise among travelers and community members,” said CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee. “With Narcan, first responders at O’Hare and Midway can quickly assist anyone experiencing an overdose on opioids, increasing the likelihood that we can save lives. Hopefully, this can be a first step toward those individuals receiving treatment.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health is supplying Narcan to the CDA at no cost. In addition to the airports, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) supplies no-cost Narcan at various public sites throughout Chicago — including every Chicago Public Library branch — and maintains a website that lists all locations in the City where the medication is found.

More Narcan training for first responders and other CDA staff at O’Hare and Midway will be provided as needed.

About the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA): 

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) owns and operates one of the world’s busiest airport systems, comprised of O’Hare and Midway International Airports. Chicago’s airports offer service to more than 250 nonstop destinations worldwide, including 47 foreign countries, combined. Together, Chicago’s airports serve more than 105 million passengers each year and generate approximately $70 billion in annual economic activity for the region. The CDA is self-supporting, using no local or state tax dollars for operations or capital improvements at either airport. For more information, visit

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Source: CDA