Free Naloxone Vending Machines

Accidental overdoses happen, both by people misusing illicit substances and people who are prescribed opioids. Our hope is that providing Narcan in such a convenient way at no cost will encourage all people, whether they personally use substances or not, to carry the life-saving drug.

Distribution machine locations:

Mercy Medical Building

901 Patients First Drive
Washington, MO 63090

Franklin County Community Resource Board

500 Clark Avenue
Union, MO 63084

Scenic Regional Library – St. Clair Branch

515 E SpringField Road
St. Clair, MO 63077


9355 Olive Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63132

Frequently Asked Questions

What is naloxone?

Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. Administered when a patient is showing signs of opioid overdose, naloxone is a temporary treatment and its effects do not last long. Therefore, it is critical to obtain medical intervention as soon as possible after administering/receiving naloxone.

Is Narcan the same as naloxone?

When naloxone was first approved to reverse opioid overdoses, its brand name was “Narcan.” There are now other formulations and brand names for naloxone, but many people continue to call all of these products “Narcan.” However, the proper generic name is “naloxone.”

Why is it in a vending machine?

In 2021, 49 people died by overdose in Franklin County, 257 people were evaluated by the ER after experiencing an overdose, and data tells us many more were never reported. Accidental overdoses are happening here, both by people misusing substances and people who are prescribed opiates. The hope is that providing Narcan in such a convenient way at no cost will encourage all people, whether they personally use substances or not, to carry the life-saving drug.

Are there distribution machines in other areas of the US?

In Missouri, machines are placed in Lake Ozark, Lebanon, Camdenton, Waynesville, and Poplar Bluff. There are many machines around the country, placed in health departments, jails, libraries, and more.

Doesn't naloxone just encourage people to keep using?

Research has shown that naloxone does not lead to more drug use or riskier drug use. In fact, some studies have shown that naloxone results in a decreased use of opioids. Naloxone also causes opioid withdrawal symptoms, which is an effective abuse deterrent. There is no evidence to support that naloxone prevents substance users from entering a treatment program. In fact, the near-death experience often serves as a catalyst for seeking treatment and maintaining recovery.

Aren't people just going to vandalize/take all the medicine/etc?

Thanks to leaders in North America, machines have been placed in urban, suburban, and rural communities for years. There are no public reports of people vandalizing or misusing the machines. We believe the kindness, compassion, and support in our  community will help deter folks who might have a desire to misuse the machines.

What if I give it to someone who isn't experiencing an overdose?

The CDC (along with other private and public health agencies) reports Naloxone will not cause any harm if it is administered to someone not experiencing an overdose. Allergies are rare and the medication is even safe to use during pregnancy. There are no known health conditions that would be impacted by Naloxone.

How can I tell if someone is experiencing an opioid overdose?

The following are the symptoms of an overdose:
• Unresponsiveness
• Cold, clammy skin
• Blue or purple fingernails and lips
• Pinpoint pupils
• Choking, with or without gurgling sounds

How do I administer Naloxone?

Narcan doesn’t require any formal training to use (although PreventEd offers overdose education training opportunities) and is packaged in a small, easy-to-carry
device. While administering Narcan, it’s important to stay calm to ensure correct usage.

Ensure the patient is on their back with their neck supported and head tilted back. Remove Narcan from the box and place your first and middle fingers on either side of the nozzle. Place and hold the tip of the nozzle in either nostril until your fingers touch
the bottom of the person’s nose. Press the plunger firmly with your thumb to release the dose of Narcan. If the person does not resume breathing in 1-2 minutes another dose can be administered in the other nostril. 911 should be called after administering
Narcan. It is effective in the body for 30-90 minutes.

Even if you aren’t sure if the individual is experiencing an opioid overdose, administering Narcan will not have any adverse effects and can help save a life. Missouri’s Good Samaritan Law protects and encourages citizens to provide emergency medical attention if they experience or witness an overdose.

If you have been prescribed Narcan, tell family, friends, and others around you about it in case of emergency and show them how to use it. It cannot be self-administered.

Who paid for the machines and medication?

PreventEd utilized funding from the Health Resources & Services Administration’s Rural Communities Opioid Response Program. This grant has allowed PreventEd to provide a Certified Peer Specialist program, stigma reduction activities, and much more over the last 5 years. The medication has been provided by the Department of Mental Health-Division of Behavioral Health.

Why is this free and accessible but not my medication?

Naloxone specifically can be provided in this format because it doesn’t cause any effects on people not experiencing an overdose. This medication doesn’t need special doses, ongoing evaluation, or testing by a medical professional, or professional administration like other medications might.

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