LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A local ambulance service this week is installing emergency boxes with life-saving medication in Tippecanoe, White and Clinton counties.
As News 18 previously reported, the boxes, known as opioid rescue kits or "Naloxboxes," contain the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. They're being hung in public places in several communities in hopes the medication will be in the right place at the right time to save a life.
"Today we're installing this here at Bauer on the south side, and then later we're going to install a similar Naloxbox at City Hall in downtown Lafayette," says Daniel Somerville, director of marketing for Phoenix Paramedic Solutions. "We have five additional locations in Tippecanoe County."
Although the boxes look simple, it's what's inside that counts.
"This little four milligram naloxone, which is easily administered through the nose, nasal spray, can save a life," he says.
Jason Padgett, director of marketing for Phoenix, says the boxes are provided through a partnership called "Project Echo."
"IU Health purchased these Naloxboxes," he says. "The grant is paying for Phoenix Paramedic solutions to install the Naloxboxes and then Overdose Lifeline is providing all the Narcan both to put in here and continuously stock the Narcan once it's taken out."
Somerville and Padgett on Thursday installed a box near Lafayette's Recovery Cafe at the Bauer Community Center. It's a welcome addition, says Liz Richards, the cafe's director.
"People know that the Recovery Cafe is a space that's dedicated to recovery, so having this resource right outside our door fits right along with what we do and who we help to serve," she says.
So what happens if a child gets into the box?
"Naloxone is completely harmless and ineffective, inert, to anyone who is not overdosing on opioids," Padgett says.
But for those who are — these boxes could make all the difference.
"I'm a person in long-term recovery myself and I know it took me a couple times to really get there," Padgett says. "Everybody has their own timeline but recovery is possible and we want to make sure people are alive to receive that message."
Several other Naloxboxes are being installed at LTHC Homeless Services and several faith-based locations in Tippecanoe County. The boxes are also available at seven locations in Clinton and White counties.