Ky. PD’s new Narcan vending machine empty within 36 hours

Vine Grove Police Chief Kenneth Mattingly got the idea for the vending machine after a call officers responded to earlier this year


By Ashley Silver

VINE GROVE, Ky. — Typically, when one thinks of a vending machine, they expect candy, chips or sodas. Instead of dispensing snacks, a Kentucky city has implemented a resource for the public that will help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose immediately – a Narcan vending machine.

According to WKMS, Vine Grove Police Chief Kenneth Mattingly got the idea for the vending machine after a call that officers responded to earlier this year.

“The young lady who lived in this apartment had a friend come over. He took something in her bathroom and she heard him fall over," Mattingly told the news organization. "She’s a recovering addict herself and she had a dose available to her that she got in one of her previous rehabs, and saved his life.”

Narcan is already a tool used by first responders to assist with opioid overdoses once they arrive at a scene. However, Mattingly wanted the drug also to be readily available to the public. He was initially concerned with one person taking several Narcan nasal sprays at a time but said he didn’t witness this during surveillance of the new machine.

"It's video-monitored, so I went back and watched the video, wondering if someone was coming in and taking five or six or ten, but I never saw that," Mattingly told WKMS. "I would go outside when someone would pull up and watch them, and they’d take one and sit there and read the literature, so I think it’s doing some good.”

The initial batch of Narcan was gone within 36 hours of the officers stocking the vending machine. WKMS reported each dose comes with information on addiction treatment and recovery.

The department believes access to drugs such as Narcan is essential in the community, with overdose deaths rising. The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy released an Overdose Fatality Report that noted 2,250 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021. This is a 14.5% increase from the prior year.

The Narcan vending machine was purchased by Communicare, a local mental health and addiction treatment center, according to WKMS.

RELATED: L.A. hands out 100,000 doses of naloxone to fight opioid surge

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