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Kokomo paves way, home to first naloxone vending machine in Indiana public library

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — The first ever naloxone vending machine at a public library in Indiana is now in full swing.

It’s one of 19 to be placed statewide for community members to use and save lives.

“I find it very sad that we have that need that it is a need. That’s the world we live in today,” Tammy Stucker, a Kokomo resident, said.

“He is doing well today. Clean, sober, and progressing with life, so I’m thankful that he had that opportunity to have that administered to him and save him,” Stucker said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last year, Indiana reported a 21% increase in fatal overdoses.

State officials say this vending machine, which holds up to 300 kits, is a practical tool to prevent overdoses and save lives.

“It is recommended that people take two to four doses each because sometimes it doesn’t work the first time or sometimes it appears to work and then it wears off and so they may need another dose of it,” the head of adult and teen services at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, Trisha Shively, said.

The vending machine is located at the Kokomo-Howard County Public library main location on North Union Street.

According to library officials, each kit includes a single dose of naloxone and instructions, as well as a referral to treatment dealing with substance use disorder.

All participants have to do is a press an available key combination on the pad and a kit will drop to the bottom. It’s completely free of charge.

“It’s awesome that when the need arises it’s readily available. I do hope that whoever atempts to help that person kind of knows a little bit about what they’re doing because it can do more harm than good,” Stucker said.

It’s only available when the library is open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., but there is also a NaloxBox outside the building filled with kits.

“Maybe if it was at a jail or some other place or the police station. There’s a little bit of stigma of going into those places, so I feel like it’s just a safer place for people to feel more comfortable to be able to get maybe a medication that could save a loved one’s life,” Shively said.