LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A valley organization has focused on harm reduction in southern Nevada.
This past year, Trac-b Exchange launched impact exchange, a vending machine that offers a number of kits free for anyone. It recently started including Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, an opioid overdose medicine.
Trac-b Exchange said more than 70,000 people overdosed on opioids in the United States in 2017.
Some of the kits include overdose kits, pregnancy tests, grooming kits, first aid kids, needles and more.
Trac-b Exchange has five harm-reduction vending machines located throughout the valley. Two are located in downtown's Huntridge neighborhood with one at the Huntridge Family Clinic (1830 E. Sahara Ave.) and the other at The Center (401 S. Maryland Parkway).
“With the opioid epidemic that’s going on right now, the overdoses that are occurring we had to get a product out there and you can’t get enough people to hand the product out,” Executive Director Rick Reich said.
To use Impact Exchange a user signs up at the center and receives a magnetic card with a unique number on the side. That code can be inputted or swiped on the machine and the user makes a selection.
“We have this set up so that there’s numerous things you can get in different time periods. We don’t want the machines drained by one card,” said Reich.
Users can get Narcan one time per month, 30 needles one time per month, or grooming and safe sex kits every other day.
The vending machine was the first of its kind in the U.S.
Since the program began, more than 1,000 Naxalone kits had been distributed, and more than 90 people have used them to treat overdoses. Of those 90, Reich said that two people died of overdoses.
Trac-b Exchange medical clinic offers a number of other programs including HIV testing, Hepatitis B/C testing and a number of other treatment options.
“We don't discriminate on who we're going to give needles to, we just want to make sure they are using them correctly, use them only once, and then dispose of them correctly,” says Reich.
For more on Trac-b Exchange, go to harmreductioncenterlv.com.