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Nalox-box’ installed at Ball Memorial

Vending machines of naloxone are being set up to combat substance abuse.

MUNCIE, Ind.- Ball Memorial Hospital recently installed a vending machine filled with bags of Naloxone on Thursday, as part of an initiative by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb that launched in 2021. The machine is located in Ball Memorial’s emergency department waiting room.

“People are used to coming here, especially for people who have a substance disorder,” said Paula Tyler, leader for Behavioral Health Services for IU Health. 

“This location is centralized in Muncie and easily accessible. I think that we have the opportunity to share our story with people, so they know where to come and get it,” said Tyler. 

Overdose Lifeline, an Indiana nonprofit, helped fund the project. Justin Phillips founded the nonprofit in 2014, after the death of her son, Aaron, from a heroin overdose. 

“I learned a lot after Aaron lost his life”, Phillips said, “including, primarily, that there’s a drug called naloxone that could save his life, and it was important to me to try to make resources available to other families so that they didn’t have my experience.” 

Anyone who knows someone at risk of an overdose can receive a kit of Naloxone from the machine free of charge. Each kit includes a single dose of naloxone, instructions for use and resource information on treatments for substance abuse disorder.

“This machine gives our community zero-barrier access to a medication that could mean the difference between life and death,” Dr. Ryan Brown, Medical Director IU Health East Central Region Addiction Medicine, said in a statement. “IU Health Ball is proud to be the recipient of one of the state’s first naloxone vending machines, and we applaud Governor Holcomb’s commitment to address the drug epidemic.”

With this machine in place, it will allow easier access to healthcare resources for those who need quick access. 

Contact Elias Elsner with comments at elias.elsner@bsu.edu