Vending machines fighting drug overdoses with free Narcan 

Print More

By SAMUEL BLATCHFORD                 
Capital News Service

LANSING – Wayne State University recently unveiled a new vending machine not for snacks but for a nasal spray that can reverse an opioid overdose.

The Narcan nasal spray can be used for overdoses of such opioids as heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone.  

Narcan was first approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2015 as a prescription. On March 29, the FDA approved Narcan for over-the-counter nonprescription use.

Wayne State University, based in Detroit, received a $232,898 state opioid response grant to buy 20 of the machines.

According to a recent progress report, there are 15 confirmed sites for placement under Wayne State’s grant.The first seven machines are located at the Ann Arbor City Hall, Woodlands Behavioral Health Network in Cass County, Live Rite in Macomb County, and jails in Ingham, Isabella, Kent and Wayne counties. The other eight locations have not been announced.

The center did not have to purchase new machines, however, they chose to do so, said Matt Costello, program manager at Wayne State University’s Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. 

“Using reconditioned (vending) machines could result in higher maintenance costs should problems occur,” he said,”(They) would add additional costs to customize and to reprogram the payment function on each machine.

All of the sites according to Costello will be responsible to obtain their own Narcan for their machines.

The Narcan will be provided for free by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services through its Narcan ordering portal.

Expanded access to naloxone, the generic name for the overdose treatment, has been the department’s largest priority, officials said.

“Our standing order and purchasing of naloxone through the Narcan Direct portal have resulted in hundreds of thousands of naloxone kits distributed across the state,” said Michigan Department of Human Health and Services Public Information Officer Lynn Sutfin. 

“Removing another barrier to accessing this life saving drug allows us and our partners to continue to expand access and save lives as we combat the opioids crisis in our state.”

Wayne State University has a Narcan vending machine in its main library.

Comments are closed.