Two new vending machines filled with free, life-saving medication have been installed at The Pantry at St. Vincent de Paul in Coeur d’Alene and Shoshone County Fire District No. 2 in Kellogg. Panhandle Health District is providing machines stocked with Narcan to combat drug overdoses in the region. Disposal pouches to discard unused medication safely are also being provided. Katie Schmeer, Community Health Program manager at Panhandle Health District, said these types of vending machines are rare in Idaho, and there are only a handful of them operating statewide.
Since Narcan’s inception, there has been a 46% reduction in opioid overdose death rates in the state, according to the Idaho Harm Reduction Project. While Narcan is available over the counter at pharmacies, it can cost on average $50 a box.