Narcan vending machines arrive in Rockford

Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 5:25 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - New vending machines in Rockford stocked with a drug that quickly reverses the effects of opioids could save lives.

Using two grants, Winnebago County Sheriff’s office and Health Department partnered on an initiative that put Narcan in a vending machine, that could help someone who is overdosing on drugs.

“Deaths from opioid overdose are preventable deaths. We need to take precautions when prescribed opioids and we need to remember that anyone can save a life and every life is worth saving,” said Dr. Sandra Martell, who is the public health administrator with the Winnebago County Health Department.

The vending machine sits in the lobby of the criminal justice center and the old public safety building on W. State St., so anyone can use it.

“We encourage the community to use our Naloxone vending machines and provide us with the information so we can observe our community better,” said Martell.

Narcan is free. All you do is type in your zip code, punch the number that comes up on the screen and your box drops through the dispenser. Each box has instructions inside that health experts say are easy to follow even in a stressful situation.

“How much of that community has to have naloxone, be naloxone trained for us to start seeing an impact. Our goal was to reduce opioid over deaths by 30%,” she said.

Martell says Los Angeles County first tested the vending machines in 2019. It administered about 20,000 doses in nine-months. She says that shows how effective the machines can be.

“There are no questions asked. It’s not an enforcement type of thing. We want to make sure that we help the public,” said Martell.

Sheriff Gary Caruana says inmates at the county jail will also benefit from this new machine.