HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – In 2021, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced an initiative to help combat this by placing vending machines stocked with naloxone across the state. The latest and last one was placed at Deaconess Hospital’s Midtown campus in Evansville.
This machine will be programmed to dispense free naloxone nasal spray kits. It will hold up to 300 naloxone kits and will continually be restocked by the Evansville Recovery Alliance, a branch of the Indiana Recovery Alliance. Each kit includes a single dose of naloxone, instructions for use and a referral to treatment for substance abuse disorder. The machine is also free to use.
“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.”
Deaconess expressed their gratitude in a Facebook post.
“We thank them and Overdose Lifeline, Inc. for partnering with us in efforts to combat the opioid epidemic,” they said. “We are grateful to have this vending machine on our campus to serve the community and hopefully help prevent these numbers from climbing.”
In the state of Indiana, there has been 17 local fatal overdoses so far in 2023 with 14 including fentanyl, according to the Vanderburgh County Coroner.
“Narcan is our first line of defense in saving the individual’s life by blocking the effects of the opioid overdose,” said Marlene Waller, System Director of Deaconess Emergency Services.
CEO of Deaconess Shawn McCoy says while it is impossible to tell how many lives will be saved, the program will encourage treatment.
“This program will not only reduce potentially fatal overdoses, but it will also take steps to ensure treatment for addiction,” he said.