Press Release

IU Health purchases NaloxBox units to distribute in Clinton, Tippecanoe and White counties

March 17, 2021

During Indiana University Health’s 2018 community health needs assessment, substance use disorder (SUD) was identified as a community priority health need. Before the COVID-19 epidemic, nearly one in 12 Indiana residents suffered from SUD. Since the pandemic’s arrival, that number continues to climb. A recent Indiana University study found that two in three Hoosiers know someone battling addiction. In 2020, IU Health saw a 23% increase in patients experiencing SUD.

In addition to reducing the number of opioid prescriptions and providing virtual peer recovery coaches in emergency departments, IU Health continues to find ways to make a positive community impact.

IU Health’s Community Outreach and Engagement Committee funded the purchase of 21 NaloxBox units to be installed in Clinton, Tippecanoe and White Counties by August 31, 2021.

A NaloxBox is a clear acrylic box mounted in a public place to provide access to naloxone. Naloxone, or Narcan, is a medication approved to reduce overdose by opioids. When given to a person showing signs of an overdose, it reverses the effects of the opioids and can be the difference in life and death.

“The intent of the NaloxBox is for emergency situations only. We hope to place these lifesaving boxes like other emergency boxes are placed,” shared Melissa Dexter, program manager for the Community Outreach and Engagement Committee at IU Health. “Fire extinguisher, AED and a NaloxBox.”

As part of the Indiana Communities Advancing Recovery Efforts (INCAREs) ECHO grant from the Indiana Department of Health, Phoenix Paramedic Solutions will provide free naloxone administration training with each NaloxBox installation.

“The partnership with IU Health will help our local communities increase access to overdose response tools, including training and naloxone,” said Nathaniel Metz, president of Phoenix Paramedic Solutions. “Phoenix Paramedic Solutions is proud to be a part of this community initiative, aiming to save lives and reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder.”

A 2015 law, known as Aaron’s Law, allows access to naloxone without a prescription. A 2016 amendment protects individuals from certain criminal and civil charges to people who administer naloxone under the Good Samaritan Law.

Phoenix Paramedic Solutions will restock the NaloxBox as needed

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