ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind — Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Indiana was getting its first naloxone vending machine. The device went in at the St. Joseph County Jail in South Bend. Ultimately, 19 will be placed across the state.
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication that can be used to reverse an overdose from opioids.
“There is no single solution to ending this epidemic that has taken the lives of thousands of Hoosiers,” Holcomb said. “We can, however, take thoughtful steps to help shake the scourge of addiction from our communities. Naloxone vending machines are a practical tool to prevent overdoses and save lives.”
The vending machines will dispense a naloxone kit. Each kit includes a single dose of naloxone, instructions and a referral on how to get treatment for a substance use disorder. The machine holds up to 300 naloxone kits and is free.
The additional vending machines will be placed in jails, hospitals and other community sites around the state. The cost is being covered with federal grant money.
“We must continue to ensure widespread access to naloxone, given the lingering impact of COVID-19 and the increased supply of fentanyl in our 92 counties,” said Douglas Huntsinger, executive director for drug prevention, treatment, and enforcement for the state of Indiana. “Every life lost to a drug overdose is one too many. Naloxone offers the opportunity to get individuals with substance use disorder on the path to long-term recovery.”
Indiana reported a 32% increase in fatal overdoses in between April 2020 and April 2021.
To learn about Overdose Lifeline’s naloxone distribution opportunities or to request a free naloxone kit, visit www.overdoselifeline.org. For more information on opioid addiction treatment centers, click here.