MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia’s first Narcan vending machine has been approved in Morgantown.
Narcan® Nasal Spray is used to treat opioid overdoses. The active ingredient, naloxone, binds to the brain’s opioid receptors to reverse the drug’s effects.
West Virginia Sober Living (WVSL) said in a press release that the vending machine will be at the Hope Hill Sobering Center at 20 Scott Ave. to increase Narcan access between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
State requirements limit individuals to one dose per person, per visit, and no more than two doses per month when using the vending machine, but WVSL said those requirements may change in light of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of over-the-counter Narcan.
The company that makes it, Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions, said it estimates Narcan will be available over-the-counter by mid-summer.
Hope Hill Sobering Center is also planning on having its staff provide Narcan training to those receiving the medication, and send data back to the state about the effectiveness and efficiency of the pilot program.
Executive Director of WVSL Jon Dower said in the release that it’s ultimately not about being first:
“Being born and raised in Morgantown, I feel responsible for making my community a better place. We are lucky to have the resources that Monongalia County offers. Recovery is happening in Morgantown, but we need individuals breathing to find their recovery process. Having the first machine in the state is not what matters; what matters is if this machine prevents one parent, spouse, child, or friend from having to attend a funeral, then all the work our agencies have done to make this machine a reality has been worth it.”
West Virginia Sober Living said in a press release it was approved as a pilot site for the machine, in a collaboration with the Monongalia County Health Department’s Quick Response Team (QRT) and Hope Hill Sobering Center. The West Virginia Office of Drug Control Policy and West Virginia Board of Pharmacy granted approval.