Minneapolis installs first NARCAN vending machine to combat opioid crisis

The City of Minneapolis is installing its first-ever naloxone vending machine in an attempt to battle opioid-related deaths in the area.

The vending machine will be housed outside of Fire Station 21 and is free to use. The machine will have approximately 100 boxes of NARCAN with two doses per box, which can be accessed 24 hours a day.  

Naloxone, also known as NARCAN, is a medication often used in emergencies that can help temporarily reverse the overdose effects of opioid medications.

Narcan nasal spray for the treatment of opioid overdoses is made available for free in a vending machine by the DuPage County Health Department at the Kurzawa Community Center on September 01, 2022 in Wheaton, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Im (Getty Images)

The city said the vending machine was placed outside of Fire Station 21 due to the "high amount of substance use and overdoses in that area." From 2017 to 2021, there were reportedly 38 opioid-related deaths in that area, and so far this year, there have been four suspected fatal overdoses and 74 suspected non-fatal overdoses, according to the press release.

City officials added that for the past five years, Minneapolis residents account for 20% of opioid-related deaths in Minnesota, despite making up just 7.5% of the population.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and other city officials are holding a press conference Wednesday morning to share more about the program.