EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Narcan will soon be coming to local pharmacies. It’s one of the latest efforts to try to prevent overdose deaths. Public Health Specialist, Sarah Dillivan-Pospsisil says, “It’s important for more community members to have access to Narcan or even Fentanyl test strips. We’re really looking at decreasing the amount of fatal and non-fatal overdoses that are happening within our community.”

While purchasing Narcan over the counter is new, Eau Claire has a variety of other places to get free test strips. Dillivan Pospisil adds, “We were able to install a Narcan and fentanyl tester at vending machine in partnership with Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office. So right now, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, community members can access Narcan as well as fentanyl test strips in the Eau Claire County Jail lobby in that vending machine for free.

There are also a variety of distribution boxes across the UW-Eau Claire (UWEC) campus. UWEC Health educator, Christy Prust, says, “Drug use is something that I’m assuming is, occurring on every UW system campus. And so having the Narcan, you know, available on campuses is just such an important thing, just in case that would happen.

“Anyone can carry it. I know of folks that just always have some with them, just in case, you know, they’re at a place in a situation where overdose occurs and they have it with them.

Recommending anyone interested to keep the drug on hand, Dillivan Pospisil adds, “Narcan could also be added to anyone’s first aid kit. Narcan, as I mentioned, is easy to use, and it’s also safe on children, pregnant women, as well as pets.

While hoping to decrease the number of overdoses in the community.

Staff with the Health Department say between June 15 and August 30th of this year, 179 boxes of Narcan nasal spray and 115 Fentanyl test strip kits have been dispensed through the vending machine. And since October of last year, 23 Narcan boxes have been removed from the dispensers at UWEC.