Vine Grove’s narcan vending machine looks to save lives

Vine Grove Police Chief Kenneth Mattingly says his new Narcan vending machine has dispensed 250 boxes since it was installed on September 29.
Published: Dec. 11, 2022 at 11:37 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Vine Grove Police Department is giving its citizens a chance to make life-saving purchases.

The department installed a vending machine full of Narcan, a medication used to prevent overdoses.

A first of it’s kind in Kentucky, this machine dispenses free Narcan to the public.

The idea that came to Vine Grove Police Chief Kenneth Mattingly after going on a call where he saw a woman use Narcan to save a friend who was overdosing.

“She herself was a recovering addict so she happened to have a dose of Narcan available to her,” said Mattingly. “So, she hit with a dose and then we got there and we hit him with two doses.”

Mattingly said the woman’s quick action not only saved her friend’s life but gave him the idea to put more doses of Narcan out in the community.

So, he started calling manufacturers to see how he could make that happen.

The final result was a Narcan vending machine installed at the police station without the people or the city paying a dime.

“Everything that goes in it, every item that goes in it has been donated from Lincoln Trail Health Department, from Commuicare, from the Kentucky Pharmacy Association, from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, everything,” Mattingly explained. “All the literature, the bags the machines go in, the kits, they’re all provided for free.”

Since it was installed on September 29th, Mattingly said they have refilled the machine several times a week, which has added up to 250 boxes.

With drug use becoming more common in the community and all around Kentucky, the Police Chief says there’s a need.

“I’ve had elderly grandparents come and want it for their grandkids who has an addiction problem and is coming home for the holidays and they want to have a box available,” said Mattingly. “I’ve had mechanical contractors come down from Louisville that work on the west end who say they encounter overdoses all the time.”

Mattingly says he tries to talk to those who get Narcan from the machine and hopes to save as many lives as possible, one box at a time.

“All I’m trying to address is what I can and make this available to people in order to save a life, give them an opportunity to either make a conscious decision to go get treatment or to continue their path of addiction,” Mattingly shared. “But they got to be alive to do that and if I can offer this to assist with that then I’m good.”

Mattingly told WAVE News if he could, he would install machines in several locations and he hopes other departments will see the benefits, too.