Naloxone available in public places by Easthampton Health Department

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Easthampton Health Department is working with the Healthy Youth Coalition and Hampshire HOPE to provide NaloxBoxes citywide in May.

The NaloxBoxes will be installed on the walls of Easthampton City Hall, Emily Williston Public Library, Mountain View School and Easthampton High School, and will be accessible to the public. Each clear box with the label “Opioid Rescue Kit” will contain three doses of Naloxone, a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose. A rescue breathing mask, medical gloves and step-by-step instructions will also be stored inside the boxes.

The program hopes to expand across the city and make naloxone available to more local organizations and businesses to prevent overdoses. According to the Easthampton Police Department, there were 89 overdoses in Easthampton between 2018 and March 2022. Of those 89 overdoses, 14 people died. From 2020 to 2021, 22 overdoses occurred in public places.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to bring NaloxBoxes to Easthampton through our partnership with the Healthy Youth Coalition and Hampshire HOPE. Harm reduction is a proactive, evidence-based approach to addressing substance use. This is a small step in the fight against the opioid epidemic; our goal is to continue awareness, education, prevention and harm reduction measures in Easthampton. Having naloxone immediately available can dramatically increase the chance of saving a life while waiting for first responders, especially when seconds count,” Easthampton Chief Health Officer Bri Eichstaedt said.

Healthy Youth Coalition coordinator Rebecca Edwards added: “Today, counterfeit pills can be cut with extremely dangerous substances such as fentanyl, which can lead to accidental death from just one pill. Despite our best efforts, young people can sometimes have access to illicit substances and are not always aware of the dangers. By taking this proactive approach and making naloxone available, the City of Easthampton is creating a safer environment for all of its residents.

Any Easthampton business or organization interested in receiving Naloxbox or Nalaxone training can contact the Department of Health at 413-529-1400 ext. 430.