WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Nevada medical officials announced this week that they are allowing the overdose rescue drug Narcan to be available in vending machines in the Las Vegas area.
- Residents who are registered with Nevada’s syringe exchange program can use a card to access the vending machines dispensing Narcan.
- Narcan is a drug used to reverse and sometimes prevent opioid overdose, which can slow or stop breathing.
In 2017, Las Vegas became the first city in the U.S. to provide syringes through vending machines. Now, as illicit opioids account for tens of thousands of fatal overdoses each year, Narcan — the opioid overdose reversal drug — has been added to the items that can be obtained through a vending machine via a medical clinic called Trac-b Exchange.
“With the opioid epidemic that’s going on right now, the overdoses that are occurring, we had to get a product out there and you can’t get enough people to hand the product out,” the program’s director, Rich Reich, said.
The reversal drug is available at for free at three vending machines, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Opioid overdose can slow or stop breathing, Narcan reverses that effect of the illicit drug. Swift action can make the difference between survival and death.
“Being able to administer naloxone immediately, while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive, greatly increases the chances of survival and reduces the risk of long-term negative health consequences, because the body cannot last long without oxygen,” Kirk Evoy of the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy and University Health System told Reuters.
The latest Narcan vending machine in Las Vegas can be found at a psychiatric treatment center.
In a statement, the facility said: “The vending machine provides easy access that does not require a medical appointment,” adding that it falls within its “mission to address addiction on multiple fronts.”
Those who sign up for a magnetic card that has a special number are the ones who can access the vending machines. Registered cardholders can get one Narcan dose each month.
Vehicle crash, one of the leading causes of deaths, has been supplanted by drug overdoses, much of them involving illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.
“Americans are more likely to die of a drug overdose than they are to die from a car crash,” the National Safety Council reported.
Source: Fox News