'The community is in need of this': Narcan boxes popping up in Richmond

Posted at 4:31 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 17:22:55-05

RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — As you’ve been out and about in the Richmond area doing your Christmas shopping, you may have seen them. They look like the defibrillator box you might see inside an office or business. The Naloxbox program began in Lexington this August, and it’s moved south.

“Our services are based on what our community needs and the community is in need of this,” said Richmond Police Chief, Rodney Richardson.

11 red boxes have been distributed to willing business owners in Richmond. Each box contains a dose of Narcan/Naloxone, which helps to offset an opioid overdose. In Lexington, some of those boxes have already been cracked open.

“Since August, what’s been reported to us is that at least two separate times someone has saved a life through the Naloxbox, Narcan,” said David Brummett with Voices of Hope.

Lexington’s Voices of Hope partnered with the MORE program (Madison Opioid Response and Empowerment) to launch this initiative here. The police department was happy to assist.

“Our ambulance service is always quick to respond here in Richmond, and we’re lucky to have that,” Chief Richardson said. “But I did the research and we saw there was about a four-minute difference in response time. Four minutes can make a big difference when someone can’t breathe or is in an overdose state,” he added.

By placing the Naloxboxes inside businesses, the hope is the gap will be bridged between the overdose and an EMT’s arrival. As noted, it’s already worked as planned in Lexington.

“If a bystander suspects a person is overdosing, maybe their lips are blue or they’re not responding, they can go inside the business, grab that Narcan from the box there and administer it as they’re calling 9-1-1, of course,” Brummett explained.

This program should inevitably save at least one life here in Richmond, where Chief Richardson charts the need for Narcan.

“Since January 1 of this year through September, our department responded to 142 calls for service where Narcan was used,” he said.