Philadelphia pilots first of its kind free Narcan machine

Philadelphia is piloting a first-of-its-kind free Narcan machine that officials hope will limit the number of overdose deaths in the city. 

The first Narcan Near Me touchscreen tower was placed outside the Lucien Blackwell Regional Public Library at the corner of 52nd and Chestnut streets in West Philadelphia. 

The machine will dispense an Overdose Recovery Kit that includes Narcan, gloves, a face shield and instructions. 

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said West Philadelphia was strategically picked to receive the first Narcan Near Me tower. 


"Places like West Philly don't have many resources as they need to combat this deadly problem," Bettigole said. 

Since 2017, officials said Philadelphia has been fighting a rise in overdose deaths due to the spread of fentanyl and heroin being sold in the city.

Officials claim they have stepped up their efforts to provide resources to addicts in Kensington which has helped reduce the number of overdose deaths.  

"Within the library system since October 2015 there have been over 54 reported incidents concerning overdoses and 41% of those it was the free library staff who administered Narcan to individuals in need," Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia Kelly Richards said. 

Jacqueline Soder, who attends a clinic every day to help beat her drug addiction, believes the machines are a good first step in helping quell the number of overdose deaths. 

"People that use don't like Narcan because when you get with it, it drains everything out of you," Soder said. "They throw it away and they never have it. So, if you can just go somewhere that you know you can get it I think it's a good idea."



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