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

NaloxBoxes will be mounted on walls at the Easthampton City Hall, Emily Williston Public Library Mountain View School and the Easthampton High School and will be available 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 throughout the city and make Naloxone available at more local organizations and businesses to prevent overdoses. According to the Easthampton Police Department, there were 89 overdoses in Easthampton between 2018 and March of 2022. Of those 89 overdoses, 14 people died. From 2020 to 2021, 22 overdoses occurred in public areas.

“I’m so grateful to have the ability to bring NaloxBoxes to Easthampton through our partnership with the Healthy Youth Coalition and Hampshire HOPE. Harm reduction is a proactive and evidence-based approach to addressing substance use. This is a small step in addressing the opioid epidemic; our goal is to continue outreach, education, prevention, and harm reduction measures in Easthampton. Having Naloxone available immediately can significantly increase the chances of saving a life while waiting for first responders, especially when seconds matter,” said Easthampton Health Director Bri Eichstaedt.

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

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