CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. – The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is taking a unique step to prevent overdose deaths by providing a vending machine at a detention center that contains Narcan.
The vending machine recently installed at the Charleston County Detention Center contains more than 50 boxes of Narcan, also known as Naloxone, News 2 reported.
The Narcan dispensed from the machines is in the form of a nasal spray.
“Naloxone rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist. This means that it attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. But, naloxone has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system, and it is not a treatment for opioid use disorder,” according to the National Institute of Health.
The sheriff’s office provided the following press statement:
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office recently installed a NARCAN vending machine in the Detention Center. The machine is the first in South Carolina to be installed in a detention center with the specific purpose of providing free NARCAN to residents upon release.
The vending machine holds 54 boxes and is stocked by the Charleston Center. Residents departing from the Detention Center are welcome to take as many as they would like to keep themselves and others safe from drug overdoses. Before leaving, residents in the drug and alcohol program are trained by counselors on the correct usage of NARCAN; other residents have access to training materials within housing units.
“We are doing all we can to make sure that people who leave our facility are well-equipped to re-enter society,” Sheriff Kristin Graziano said. “Providing free NARCAN helps us with our mission of ‘Service Beyond the Call.’ If the NARCAN saves just one life, it’ll be well worth it. I’m thankful to the Charleston Center for working with us on this initiative.”
Critics of Narcan “giveaways” say it simply promotes more reckless use of dangerous drugs, thus increasing overdose deaths.
More than 107,600 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021. This is the highest annual death toll on record, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this year, Law Officer reported.
Over the past two years CDC statistics show 275 people die EVERYDAY from a drug overdose death in America.