Kentucky Narcan Vending Machine Emptied in Less than 24 Hours, Highlighting Escalating Opioid Crisis

While access to Narcan is suitable for those focused on harm reduction, one Kentucky vending machine is now the face of the opioid crisis in the ailing southern state.

A vending machine filled with Narcan in Vine Grove, KY, was emptied less than a day after it was unveiled.

Police Chief Kenny Mattingly introduced it Thursday, but by 6 PM Friday, it was empty.

Mattingly said, “I didn’t plan on it going that quick, but I’m glad that it did.”

It’s a stark reminder of how bad things have gotten in many southern states as the war on drugs continues to fail (and make things worse) and addicts desperately grab any way to survive in an escalating crisis.

Kentucky, in particular, has been slammed by the opioid crisis, as over 2,200 residents reportedly died from overdoses in 2021 – a 15% increase from the previous year.

In the county where the vending machine is located alone, 46 people died last year from overdose.

While keeping people alive is a noble and always worthwhile pursuit, until the root cause of the epidemic is solved, vending machines will continue to be inadequate to stem the tide of death.


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