Narcan vending machine installed at Rock Co. Sheriff’s Office

As we continue to live through an opioid epidemic, a community in Wisconsin is taking measures to put a stop to preventable overdose deaths.
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:41 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2022 at 7:43 PM CST
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - As the opioid epidemic continues, a community in Wisconsin is taking measures to put a stop to preventable overdose deaths.

A vending machine that provides the medication Narcan, used to treat a known or suspected opioid overdose emergency, has been installed at the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement announced last week.

“And we really just wanted to try this harm reduction effort to try and get Narcan into more people’s hands, opioid overdose deaths are preventable,” Verenice Sandoval, Treatment Coordinator at the Sherriff’s Office said. “So, we’re trying to do what we can to you know, get this lifesaving medication out there for everyone to have access to.”

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office explained that the Narcan vending machine contains a nasal spray that can be administered easily with little training needed. Sheriff Troy Knudson said the machine was placed diligently, with a vulnerable population in mind.

“Certainly, a lot of family members, loved ones come in to visit our inmate population, many of them have addiction issues or substance use issues and so if they could pick this up, should a person get released and even despite their best efforts end up relapsing, they would have the tools to be able to avoid that in sort of a serious overdose situation,” Knudson said.

The sheriff’s office noted that the overdose death rate has increased by over 50% from 2020 to 2021 in Rock County. Nearly 80% of overdose deaths in 2022 involved fentanyl, which Rock Co. officials said poses an extreme risk to those who encounter it, sometimes unexpectedly.

Those who would like to pick one up can go to the lobby of the Rock County Sheriff’s Office at 200 E. US Highway 14 in Janesville. The lobby is open 24/7. There is a QR code on the machine with a two-minute training video on how to recognize an overdose and administer the medication.

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