IU Health Ball Receives Naloxone Vending Machine, Part of State Effort to Curb Drug Epidemic — Muncie Journal
By Courtney Schmoll—
MUNCIE, IN – IU Health Ball is happy to announce that one of Indiana’s newest naloxone vending machines will soon be placed in the emergency department waiting area. The machine is one of 19 to be placed statewide and will soon be available for use by the public. gov. Eric J. Holcomb first announced the initiative in December 2021.
“There is no single solution to ending this epidemic that has taken the lives of thousands of Hoosiers,” Gov. 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.”
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication approved to reverse an overdose from opioids and is given when a person is showing signs of opioid overdose to block the deadly effects of the overdose.
The vending machines are manufactured by Shaffer Distribution Company and programmed to dispense free naloxone kits. Each kit includes a single dose of naloxone, instructions for use, and resource information on treatments for substance use disorder. The machine holds up to 300 naloxone kits and is free to access.
“This machine gives our community zero-barrier access to a medication that could mean the difference between life and death,” said Dr. Ryan Brown, Medical Director IU Health East Central Region Addiction Medicine. “IU Health Ball is proud to be the recipient of one of the state’s first naloxone vending machines, and we applaud Governor Holcomb’s commitment to address the drug epidemic.”
Overdose Lifeline, Inc., an Indiana nonprofit dedicated to helping those affected by substance use disorder, is partnering with the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) to identify jails, hospitals, and other community sites interested in a vending machine to distribute the life-saving medication. Machines have already been placed in public areas of the St. Joseph, Wayne, DuBois, Marion, and Monroe County jails, Tippecanoe County Community Corrections, Clark Memorial Hospital, Scott Memorial Hospital, Union Hospital in Vigo County, and an Eskenazi Health Center in Indianapolis.
Overdose Lifeline will purchase the vending machines using federal grant funds totaling $72,600 made available through DMHA. There is no cost to entities that implement a vending machine.
“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 21% increase in fatal overdoses during the 12-month period beginning in December 2020 and ending in December 2021, according to provisional data released in May by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To learn about Overdose Lifeline’s naloxone distribution opportunities or to request a free naloxone kit, visit www.overdoselifeline.org.