Several communities across the United States have begun installing free vending machines that dispense Narcan, an effort to add another tool in the fight against the rising opioid crisis.
Overdose numbers and deaths have spiked sharply in the United States since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC reported opioid deaths in the US topped 100,000 in the calendar year ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the year before.
The DEA cites the rise in the use of fentanyl, specifically, saying,”synthetic opioids (like fentanyl) are the primary driver of overdose deaths in the United States.”
The installation of Narcan vending machines, largely in prisons and drug rehabilitation facilities, but also throughout affected communities, will dispense free doses of naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, which when injected or inhaled early in an overdose can reverse the effects of the overdose and save lives.
New York City announced this week it will install ten Narcan vending machines throughout neighborhoods that have been disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis in the last two years.
Other states that have installed Narcan vending machines include California, Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana. A report out of Massachusetts in 2017 showed naloxone reversed 93 percent of overdoses when it was administered.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS
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