Narcan vending machines pop up islandwide as Hawai‘i Island Fentanyl Task Force battles rise in opioid overdoses

  • Source: Big Island Now
  • Published: 03/28/2024 12:00 AM

A vending machine plugged in at Hope Services’ homeless shelter in Kona isn’t loaded with the typical Cheetos, Famous Amos cookies or packs of gum. Instead, it’s filled with Narcan, a nasal spray used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. On the side panels of the white and purple machine, provided by the state Department of Health, it gives instructions on how to administer the spray. “Naloxone should be given to any person who shows signs of an opioid overdose,” the panel reads, going on to list the signs: gurgling, gasping, snorting, blue lips or fingertips, will not wake up and slow or no breathing. For the past few years, Hawai’i County leaders and community partners have been working to get Narcan, also known as naloxone, into the hands of the public as a way to combat the growing opioid crisis and rise in fentanyl, where one fatal overdose is occurring every seven days on Hawai’i Island, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


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