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Updated: March 15, 2023
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 some basic information and will scan a barcode to dispense their Narcan.
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 Narcan 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 of Narcan 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 are able to choose to get sober.
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, resulting in a significant increase in opioid-related overdoses and deaths.
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.
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.
If you or a loved one is looking for an effective drug rehab in San Diego, call 619-363-4767. One of our caring members is ready to answer all of your questions.