Skip to content
3 min read

Free Naloxone Available in San Diego Vending Machines

People who use drugs in San Diego can now get up to six free doses of the overdose-reversal drug, Narcan, also known as naloxone. The first time they get naloxone, they get a supply of two doses. After they have used those doses, they can return to get up to six more doses per visit.

The machines dispense the nasal form of the drug, which is what they will learn to use by watching a video. They are also asked for basic information and will scan a barcode to dispense it.

Free Narcan Helps Create More Equity in Recovery

Before making doses of naloxone accessible for free, the cost was usually a barrier, especially for addicted persons living in poverty. One dose of Narcan costs up to $140 in states that don’t subsidize it. When it was first released in a prescription form, it cost up to $400 in some areas.

Cost barriers meant that when emergency responders helped revive someone who overdosed on opioids, the hospitals often picked up the costs. Using multiple cans of Narcan was often heavily discouraged. However, when Oxycontin and fentanyl began to permeate the streets, multiple doses became necessary to save lives.

Giving people the opportunity to save lives is the ultimate goal of harm reduction programs. Harm reduction can help people who use drugs survive until they can choose to get sober. Naloxone is an important tool for saving lives and reversing overdose deaths. They help people with opioid use disorder live to get sober another day.

Harm Reduction and Fentanyl Overdose Prevention

Naloxone can help people who use any drug be revived from an overdose of drugs tainted by fentanyl. Over the past three years, many fentanyl overdoses were believed to be caused by it as an adulterant.

Other harm reduction, such as fentanyl testing strips, can help check for the presence of fentanyl in drugs such as street-bought Oxycontin, Molly, or cocaine test. Research shows that people who can test for fentanyl may choose to flush the drug. If they take the drug tainted with fentanyl, they may take a much smaller amount.

Harm reduction is just one way to value the lives of people with a substance use disorder. Eventually, many people addicted to opioids, and other drugs hit bottom and decide they want to change their lives.

Opioid Use Disorder in San Diego

Like many parts of the United States, San Diego has been affected by the opioid epidemic, significantly increasing opioid-related overdoses and deaths. These deaths are meaningful and preventable with overdose-reversal drugs and other harm-reduction tools and treatment.

Statistics from the California Overdose Dashboard show that in 2020, there were 528 deaths involving opioids, including fentanyl, in San Diego County. That’s about a 115% increase from 2016.

In addition to the increase in overdose deaths, there has also been a significant increase in the number of people seeking treatment for opioid addiction. Having naloxone available can help change and save lives. When a person lives through an overdose, they often consider getting help. A seed can be planted even if they don't get it the same day. Harm reduction tools help affirm that their life matters.

Getting Help for Substance Use Disorder

Help is available for people who need it no matter what drug they use or how long they have been using. Addictive drugs such as opioids or methamphetamine often require a clinical detox to help clients with withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

In the San Diego area, we have options to help you get sober and begin recovery. Please give yourself a chance to reclaim your life by calling us. We’re here to walk you through the process.




Read Full Bio
Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

Homepage Form

You CAN Achieve Sobriety

We Are Here To Guide You