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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Narcan dispenser installed at Redwood City correctional facility

Narcan dispenser installed at Redwood City correctional facility
Correctional Health Services and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office have installed a dispensing machine for Narcan, a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Narcan Dispensary located in the public lobby of the Maguire Correctional Center in Redwood City. Credit: San Mateo County Executive's Office.

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Correctional Health Services and San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, have installed a machine to dispense free doses of Narcan, the medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, in the public lobby of the Maguire Correctional Center in Redwood City. 

The above, in order to reduce harm to the community and potentially save lives, as the machine provides a box of Narcan containing two doses to anyone who needs it, including inmates who are being released, their family and friends, as well as like the general public.

A nasal spray, Narcan (the brand name for the drug naloxone) is safe to use and easy to deploy, making it possible for anyone (friends, bystanders) to provide life-saving help. 

And while first responders carry naloxone, the medication can be administered even before calling 911, as seconds count if someone is experiencing an overdose.

The California Department of Public Health recommends that friends and family who know someone at higher risk for an opioid overdose, especially those with opioid use disorder, bring naloxone and store it at home. 

In addition, he detailed, people who take high doses of opioid medications prescribed by a doctor, as well as those who use opioids and benzodiazepines together and/or who use drugs, should carry naloxone and inform others that they have it in case they experience an opioid overdose.

Importantly, California's Good Samaritan law protects those who provide emergency medical care at the scene of a medical emergency, including the administration of naloxone.

The vending machine also offers a touch screen to provide information on other available services, such as food, housing, substance abuse treatment, mental health, probation and parole.

“This effort took more than a year and is the result of a great partnership with the Sheriff's Office,” said Correctional Health Services Director Michael del Rosario. “As we strive to improve the services we provide to our incarcerated people and the community, we hope we can help save some lives with this project.”

In May 2023, after a public study session on the growing public health threat posed by cheap opioids and fentanyl, the Board of Supervisors recommended providing access to naloxone; increase cooperation between the County Health Department, public safety officials and other stakeholders; promote public education and collect data to identify at-risk areas or populations.

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Peninsula 360 Press
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