Indiana to place 19 naloxone vending machines around state

December 9, 2021 GMT

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The first of 19 naloxone vending machines to be located around the state will be placed at the St. Joseph County Jail in South Bend, Gov. Eric Holcomb has announced.

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a drug to reverse overdoses from opioids.

“There is no single solution to ending this epidemic that has taken the lives of thousands of Hoosiers,” Holcomb said, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported Thursday. “We can, however, take thoughtful steps to help shake the scourge of addiction from our communities.”

Indiana reported a 32% increase in fatal overdoses during a 12-month period ending in April 2021, according to provisional data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vending machines are manufactured by Shaffer Distribution Co. and programmed to dispense free naloxone kits, the governor’s office said. Each kit includes a single dose of naloxone, instructions for use, and a referral to treatment for substance use disorder. The machine holds up to 300 naloxone kits and is free to the public to access.

Overdose Lifeline, Inc., an Indiana nonprofit dedicated to helping those affected by substance use disorder, is partnering with the state’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction to identify jails, hospitals, and other community sites interested in a having one of the vending machines, Holcomb said. Overdose Lifeline will purchase the vending machines. There’s no cost to the host sites.