Santa Clara Naloxone Vending Machines Take on Opioid Crisis

Santa Clara Naloxone Vending Machines Take on Opioid CrisisSource: The Santa Clara
Nina Singh-Hudson
Published on November 30, 2023

Santa Clara County has introduced naloxone vending machines to combat the opioid crisis, providing the life-saving drug for free. As part of a larger plan to prevent fatalities from drug overdoses, the Behavioral Health Services Department of the county has introduced these machines within correctional facilities, educational institutions, and community centers. Since the initiation in fall 2022, the distribution effort has extended to include Santa Clara University and Mission College, among other locations, offering the public easy access to this crucial medication.

This initiative, dubbed the Santa Clara County Opioid Overdose Prevention Project (SCCOOPP), is actively placing naloxone dispensers in high-risk areas. Beyond the installation of these machines, the county offers naloxone through Santa Clara Valley Healthcare's Valley Health Center Primary Care Clinics and Addiction Medicine clinics. Over 25,000 kits have been distributed since 2017. Mira Parwiz confirmed, "We’ve chosen to use bold tactic to confront the opioid crisis in our county. This is a challenging effort, but addressing this crisis requires innovative thinking and immediate action. Giving our communities free access to naloxone can save lives."

Complementing the distribution of naloxone, Santa Clara County has launched a media campaign to alert the public to fentanyl and other opioid dangers. Ads in English and Spanish span online, televised, and outdoor platforms. "Getting this information out through so many different media channels meets the public where they are," said BHSD Director Sherri Terao.

The county's campaign also focuses on education, offering free overdose response and naloxone training sessions. Thousands have participated, receiving training and naloxone kits. The county encourages various community members from diverse professions and backgrounds to get trained and carry naloxone. For more information on training sessions, visit the Santa Clara County BHSD. Santa Clara County's aggressive approach to the opioid epidemic demonstrates a commitment to saving lives through prevention, education, and direct intervention.