Kentucky’s first Narcan vending machine installed in Vine Grove

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When the Vine Grove police chief called earlier this year, what he witnessed stuck with him. Armed with Narcan, a young woman saved a friend’s life after he overdosed in her bathroom. Fast forward, just a few months, to Thursday. Mattingly featured a Narcan vending machine, set up outside police headquarters. It is believed to be the very first in Kentucky. “It’s free. You go upstairs, press the number, and you get a two-dose box and accompanying treatment and recovery literature, if you want it,” Mattingly Communicare, which operates centers processor in Kentucky and helped purchase the machine, says the documentation is just as important as what’s in the box. “If someone dies from an overdose, it cannot be treated, their family is without their loved one,” Thad Storms, with Communicare, said of the importance of Narcan. According to a 2021 report More than 2,200 Kentuckians died of drug overdoses last year, including 46 in Hardin County, and police and prosecutors say it was because of drugs spilling onto the streets. “They are given fentanyl which is pure poison. They don’t know what dose they’re getting and it’s leading to a lot of overdose deaths.” That’s why Mattingly hopes that with Narcan’s distributor, this trend can start to reverse. “We’re not going to lock people up and solve this issue. What I’m trying to do is just save people along the way as best we can,” he said. The police department says there are numbers on every box. of Narcan and when they answer the overdose calls, they will follow him.

When the Vine Grove police chief called earlier this year, what he witnessed stuck with him. Armed with Narcan, a young woman saved a friend’s life after he overdosed in her bathroom.

“That got me thinking about making it available to the general public, rather than law enforcement and first responders,” Chief Kenneth Mattingly recalls.

Fast forward, just a few months, to Thursday. Mattingly featured a Narcan vending machine, set up outside police headquarters. It is believed to be Kentucky’s first.

“It’s free. You go up, press the number, and you get a two-dose box and accompanying treatment and recovery literature, if you want it,” Mattingly said.

Communicare, which operates processing centers in Kentucky and helped buy the machine, says documentation is just as important as what’s in the box.

“If someone dies from an overdose, they can’t be treated, their family is without their loved one,” Communicare’s Thad Storms said of the importance of Narcan.

According to a 2021 report, more than 2,200 Kentuckians died of drug overdoses last year, including 46 in Hardin County. And the police and prosecutors say it’s because of the drugs on the streets.

“It’s pure fentanyl coming out of Mexico,” said Eric Carr, assistant commonwealth attorney for Hardin County.

According to Carr, users simply don’t know what they’re ingesting, “They’re getting fentanyl which is just pure poison. They don’t know what dose they’re getting and it’s leading to a lot of overdose deaths.”

That’s why Mattingly hopes that with distributor Narcan, this trend can begin to reverse.

“We’re not going to lock people up and fix this. What I’m trying to do is just save people along the way as best we can,” he said.

The police department says there are numbers on every box of Narcan and when they respond to overdose calls, they will follow him.

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