Vending machines are being installed in cities and towns across the US that dispense Narcan nasal spray – the antidote to fentanyl overdoses – as opioid deaths across the country continue to spiral.
In 2021, around 71,000 Americans died as a result of fentanyl overdoses. This year, 75,000 Americans have already died from the lethal drug.
The high number of fentanyl deaths is exacerbated by the fact that users don’t know the fatal drug is laced into various other substances including cocaine and methamphetamine.
The purpose of the vending machines – which are largely being paid for by non-profits – is to allow users themselves to gain access to Narcan.
In most cases, users are given a code from a local non-profit to use on the machine.
In September, it was reported that the police chief of Vine Grove, Kentucky, Kenneth Mattingly, had to refill the Narcan dispenser he put outside of his police station seven times in just one month.
The town has a population of around 7,000.