The new measures come as the nation continues to see a concerning trend of opioid misuse.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An effort to seek solutions for those facing substance abuse took shape Tuesday at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.
The agency announced a new, free Narcan vending machine will be in its arrest processing center in collaboration with the group Carolinas CARE Partnership, which is providing the products.
The goal is to stop opioid overdoses for those recently released from jail before it’s too late.
“The leading cause of anyone that is being released from incarceration is overdose,” Patrice Brown with Carolinas CARE Partnership said. “And so this vending machine will hopefully help, just a little, it’ll help that problem.”
The new measures come as the nation continues to see a concerning trend of opioid misuse with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying nearly 645,000 people died from an overdose between 1999 and 2021.
“This initiative serves as a pivotal step in our efforts to combat the ongoing fentanyl crisis,” Sheriff Garry McFadden said in a statement. “By facilitating seamless access to Narcan kits, we aspire to make a meaningful impact and save lives.”
Organizers said the detention center is just one area they’re focusing the life-saving care.
“We’ve given them out to 10 other organizations throughout the community,” Kenneth Robinson with Freedom Fighting Missionaries said. “We went up and down the Sugar Creek corridor, business by business.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is also taking steps to address the issue with the district’s policy committee agreeing Tuesday to consider introducing the product into schools.
“The county has the stock of the Naloxone ready for us,” Coordinated School Health Specialist for CMS Monica Adamian said. “We just wanted to make sure we had the procedures in place and the policy to support it.”
CMS will likely bring the issue to a vote in January 2024.
It comes as participating schools in South Carolina have already started offering Narcan to students and staff through the nurses office for use in an emergency.
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