TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) – It’s been a month since Win Recovery added a self-service “Naloxbox” outside of its Terre Haute location. Naloxone or otherwise known as Narcan is medication that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.
Hamilton Center Deputy Chief of Addiction Services Tasha Newcomb said the recovery center had to fill the box with naloxone more frequently than expected.
“The numbers obviously started out small because we weren’t seeing that many being taken,” Newcomb said.
However, Newcomb said a significant number of people utilized the naloxone out of the new Naloxbox within the first month.
“In the month of April we distributed 31 doses,” Newcomb said.
Addiction services plans to provide more doses as need continues to increase.
“We monitor it daily and keep track of how many we used that week, we base the number we order off of that,” Newcomb said.
Terre Haute EMS Chief Kevin Kull said the percentage of Narcan the department has had to administer to the community has increased as well.
“This year so far we have 29 interactions where patients have not been breathing,” Kull said. “So far we’ve had to administer Narcan 40 times.
Kull said between April 4th and April 18th a notable spike occurred.
“Drug use and abuse is actually turning a new corner now to where they’re actually mixing with horse tranquilizers,” Kull said. ” Unfortunately that is a deadly cocktail.”
Kull feared the increased Narcan usage may lead to limited access in the future.
“The unfortunate thing is I feel like eventually there’s going to be a National shortage of Narcan,” Kull said. “We already experience difficulty in obtaining some medications because of the shortage of plastic containers.
According to the Overdose Lifeline the Narcan Nasal Spray shelf life is 36 months.