It can save your life, and it’s free.
A vending machine stocked with free Narcan — a life-saving opioid reversal nasal spray — will now sit inside the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, available for use 24/7.
The installment, tucked next to a Coca-Cola vending machine in the Detention Center’s lobby, comes after a 20% increase in fentanyl overdoses reported by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Fentanyl — an opioid often laced in other drugs, like pain pills, or distributed on its own — is 100 times more potent than morphine, and even a small amount of it can be deadly.
As it becomes easily available — routinely popping up in the detention center, on streets and even in schools — Sheriff Garry McFadden hopes to make access to Narcan as easy as possible.
“We want to encourage all people, whether they personally use substances or not, to carry the life-saving drug,” wrote MCSO Public Information Officer Bradley Smith.
Naloxone, the fast-acting medicine in Narcan that reverses an opioid overdose, is considered safe to use even if drug use is suspected but later found to not be the case. Earlier this year, federal regulators took action to make 4 mg Narcan nasal spray available over-the-counter without a prescription for about $50.
In collaboration with Carolinas CARE Partnership Rx ACE (CCP), McFadden said offering the drug will be “a pivotal step in our efforts to combat the ongoing fentanyl crisis.”
Now, people just need to know where to find it.
“How about we give out Narcan instead of turkeys this year,” McFadden said Tuesday during a news conference.