City Considers Storing Anti-Overdose Drug In Public Boxes

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (CBS/AP) — A Massachusetts city is considering a proposal to create publicly accessible boxes containing Narcan, the medication used to counteract opioid overdoses.

Cambridge officials say a passer-by who found someone suffering from an overdose could administer the drug before medics arrive. The proposal, still a long way from implementation, calls for the medicine to be stored in lock boxes in areas of high drug use.

Dispatchers at 911 centers would give access codes to callers to open the boxes and explain how to use the drug.

Passer-bys discussed the idea with WBZ NewsRadio 1030 in Central Square.

“Narcan is a good idea and it should be available but as far as boxes go I would have a lot of questions about how it would be available and administered. What would be the safety precautions?” one woman said.

Supporters of the plan ran a mock trial recently, placing a dummy on the ground in a busy area and asking volunteers to test the lockbox system.

A Cambridge Police spokesperson explained, “At this stage, we are simply supporting the market research associated with a possible emergency medical supplies lockbox. However, we are interested in identifying ways to provide an increased response to serve an individual who has overdosed.”

They hope it can stop the rise of opioid overdoses, which killed nearly 2,000 people in Massachusetts last year.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports 

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