A naxolone vending machine is installed in the lobby of the St. Joseph County Jail on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. Staff photo by Marek Mazurek
A naxolone vending machine is installed in the lobby of the St. Joseph County Jail on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. Staff photo by Marek Mazurek

SOUTH BEND — The state's first Narcan vending machine is being installed in the lobby of the St. Joseph County Jail.

The move is meant to reduce opioid overdose deaths, which have been on the rise in St. Joseph County.

The vending machine, which is paid for by grants through Gov. Eric Holcomb's office, will be free for residents who need Narcan, or naloxone, which combats symptoms of opioid overdoses. 

“It’s another way for us to actively keep and provide Narcan to members of our community and hopefully keep them safe,” said St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman. 

The concept of a vending machine for Narcan started with the Overdose Lifeline after the organization’s executive director, Justin Phillips, lost her son in a heroin overdose in 2014. The organization has partnered with the governor’s office and is in the process of setting up 19 similar vending machines across the state. The total cost of the grant is

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