NARCAN vending machine to be installed in Tacoma Moore Library in February

The Tacoma Needle Exchange and the Dave Purchase Project will install a vending machine with free naloxone, known as NARCAN, in the Tacoma Moore Library this February.

“The pandemic increased overdose deaths significantly, and public services like the library see patrons struggling with addiction every day,” the library said.

The Tacoma Public Library has made NARCAN available to the staff since 2018 and has trained staff to recognize the signs of an overdose and administer naloxone. Their supply is provided by the Tacoma Needle Exchange.

Naloxone can be given as a nasal spray or injected into the muscle, under the skin, or into the veins, the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website said.

NARCAN’s website shows steps on how to administer the spray.

“Naloxone is a harm reduction tool that can reverse an opioid overdose,” said Library Director Kate Larsen. “With this opportunity to expand our community’s access to this lifesaving (yet safe) opioid reversal medication, we hope to reduce opioid overdose deaths in our community.”

Community members can also acquire free naloxone at any Washington state pharmacy, the Tacoma Needle Exchange, and at other naloxone vending machines in Pierce County.

The Tacoma Needle Exchange will also provide no-cost peer counseling services to patrons for two-to-four hours per month at the Moore and South Tacoma libraries for the rest of 2023.

Naloxone has no effect on someone who doesn’t have opioids in their system and is not a treatment for opioid use disorder. It is used to reverse an overdose. Naloxone cannot be used recreationally, as it has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.