On May 2, 2022, the Easthampton Health Department launched the first phase of a NaloxBox program in the city. A NaloxBox is a small, clear box labeled "Opioid Rescue Kit" that is mounted on the wall and contains four doses of Naloxone (commonly known as Narcan), a medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose. In the first phase, NaloxBoxes were placed in city buildings, including City Hall, the Emily Williston Public Library, Mountain View School, and Easthampton High School. The most recent expansion includes NaloxBoxes at Learn to Cope (Eastworks), River Valley Co-Op, Abandoned Building Brewery (Brickyard Building), The Boylston Rooms (Keystone Building), and Se7ens Sports Bar and Grill.
City leaders, including Health, Police, and Fire, continued to meet after the first phase to determine locations for the expansion into local businesses based on overdose data and proximity to the Public Safety Complex and existing NaloxBoxes. The team also wanted to get the NaloxBoxes into the mill buildings and businesses with weekend and evening hours.
Health Director Bri Eichstaedt comments, "I was thrilled that each business we reached out to was more than happy to host a NaloxBox. I am really grateful that our local businesses have a supportive, harm-reduction approach to substance use in the city. The more Naloxone we can have accessible during an emergency or available to those who need it, the higher chances we have to save a life."
It is important to note that using Naloxone has no adverse side effects, including if one were to use it accidentally on a person who is not experiencing an overdose. Anyone can take the Naloxone from the box, including in non-emergency situations. Each business has agreed to notify the Health Department when Naloxone needs to be replaced.