Lansing nonprofit installs Narcan vending machine to save lives

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:14 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Lifeboat Addiction Recovery Services, a Lansing-based nonprofit, has welcomed a free Narcan vending machine into its facility on Michigan Avenue.

The opioid epidemic continues to exasperate in the United States. It takes thousands of lives every year, but the distribution of Narcan can help put a stop to fatal overdoses.

It only takes a few sprays of Narcan to cut off someone’s high. The person administering the Narcan then has a limited amount of time to get that individual into the care of medical professionals.

When used correctly, Narcan saves lives. Lifeboat Peer Recovery Coach Stephen McCorry said that’s why access to the nasal spray is so crucial.

McCorry has struggled with addiction himself and now uses his experience to lead others in their recovery. Though McCorry has never been an opioid user, he’s lost eight loved ones to opioids in the last year. If they had known how accessible Narcan really is, he believes it would have saved their lives.

“Losing those eight people in the last year really highlights to me the importance that, not just there be access to Narcan, but the knowledge of it, that people are made aware of the access to it,” he said.

McCorry said it’s taken a lot of collaboration with other municipalities to provide free Narcan. Lifeboat receives its supply from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The funds needed to acquire and set up the vending machine were given by the Mid-State Health Network.

Peer Recovery Coach Shannon Robinson said Narcan is not just a resource for people who are actively experiencing addiction. It’s for their friends, their family and their neighbors.

Knowing how to administer Narcan is like knowing how to give CPR; it’s a life-saving skill that could be used any time, any place. Even Robinson’s children are Narcan certified.

“I carry it in my car, if we run into somebody or see somebody,” she said. “It could be somebody at a bus stop or something. It’s just as simple as having that availability, that quick, to be able to help.”

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