Through funding supported by the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant awarded to enhance addiction services in NYS and administered by South Central BHCC in collaboration with Mohawk Valley BHIPA, (FOR-DO) Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties brought the first Naloxone (Narcan) vending machine to NYS. In July of 2022, using just a small portion of the funds, Program Manager Kyle LaFever took the initiative and proposed an innovative way to dispense Naloxone to the community. Kyle successfully installed a Naloxone vending machine in the area after first seeing it deployed in Michigan.
“One of our biggest struggles is the stigma people have with Narcan. People who don’t use opioids or are in recovery feel like they don’t need Narcan.” He shared that he knows of an innocent by standard who saved a life in Binghamton because Narcan was easily accessible. “I am a big advocate for people carrying Narcan on them,” LaFever said.
“FOR-DO is very happy to join in on the SOR 2 Initiative”, said Debra Berrios, Executive Director of FOR-DO. “We far exceeded the expectations of our project outcomes. We distributed 600 kits since last year from our NARCAN vending machine and trained 300 individuals throughout the counties. There is not a day that goes by that it is not utilized. The vending machine is in an enclosed, temperature-regulated, well-lit, and secure area behind our building. It is regularly updated each week.
Berrios and LaFever hope to expand the availability of Naloxone to surrounding counties. Community members and grant partners have also expressed interest in establishing Naloxone kit access points as an expanding harm reduction approach.
In alignment with this initiative, the South Central BHCC network hosts a Narcan Training video on its website. If you are interested in becoming trained to administer Narcan via our online training video and receive a free Narcan kit via mail, please click here: Behavioral Health Services, Non-Profit – NY | South Central BHCC (scbhcc.org)