June 22, 2021 – North Central Washington

With support from Beacon Health Options and the North Central Accountable Community of Health, two naloxone (commonly distributed as Narcan®) vending machines will be funded and placed in Chelan and Grant counties starting Summer 2021. The goal: reducing opioid overdose deaths in the region.

“We’re hearing from individuals struggling from substance use disorder, their families, and loved ones that the stigma of obtaining naloxone, and being labeled as a drug user, is still a barrier preventing those who are at most risk of overdosing from obtaining these medications. As a part of our strategy of developing a recovery continuum of care, those in active addiction need unfettered access to this medication no matter what their situation,” says Joseph Hunter, Recovery Coach Network Coordinator with the North Central Accountable Community of Health and project lead.

“Beacon Health Options is proud to continue our partnership with NCACH and Recovery Coach Network. This project is an important part of the Substance Use Disorder continuum of care and acts as a pathway to further support long-term recovery while ensuring our friends and neighbors have safe and consistent access to the potentially lifesaving naloxone medication,” says Gerardo Perez-Guerrero, Community Engagement Coordination with Beacon Health Options.

The idea for the machines themselves came from North Central Washington’s recovery community.

“Narcan® saves the ones you love, until they love themselves enough to save themselves,” says Patricia Maxwell, Wenatchee Alano Club Board Member.

While naloxone vending machines are not new, these will be the first operational naloxone vending machines in Washington State. The vending machines will be placed with two community organizations, one in Wenatchee and one in Moses Lake. The naloxone will be free to anyone who needs it, and the vending machines will offer a virtual training video on how to safely administer naloxone in the event of an overdose.

Central Washington Recovery Coalition, one of the lead groups supporting the vending machines, says “Naloxone (Narcan®) is an FDA approved medication and it’s an option for community distribution, and used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Most people who struggle with substance use disorder are fearful of the stigma associated with seeking help for Narcan® from a doctor or a pharmacy. Learn how to administer Narcan® and teach others, it might just help save a life”.

The vending machines are just one of the many innovative strategies being deployed by NCACH and its partners, who have been focused on supporting recovery and preventing substance use disorder in a broad effort to improve health since 2017. The organization also supports a Recovery Coach Network, which is a community-based workforce of substance-use-disorder professionals and peers who can provide unique and informed support for individuals in recovery.

About Beacon Health Options

Beacon Health Options is a leading behavioral health services company serving 1 out of 9 people across all 50 states. We work with employers, health plans and government agencies to support mental health and emotional wellbeing, substance use disorder recovery, and employee health programs that improve the health and wellness of people every day. Our multi-modal, insights driven approach allows us to integrate social, behavioral and physical health solutions to drive improved outcomes for everyone we serve. By collaborating with a network of providers in communities around the country, we help individuals live their lives to the fullest potential. For more information, visit beaconhealthoptions.com and connect with us on facebook.com/beaconhealthoptions, twitter.com/beaconhealthopt and linkedin.com/company/beacon-health-options.

About Central Washington Recovery Coalition

Our mission is to advance substance use recovery and behavioral health wellness by catalyzing public understanding and public policy. Learn more about us by visiting facebook.com/centralwashingtonrecoverycoalition or contact cwrecoverycoalition@gmail.com.

About North Central Accountable Community of Health

NCACH is investing in partnerships and capacity to improve rural health across North Central Washington. To learn more or get in touch, please contact info@ncach.org