AUSTIN, Texas — There is a new Narcan vending machine on East Cesar Chavez Street.
N.I.C.E. Project installed the machine outside Cenote, located on the corner of East Cesar Chavez and Medina streets in East Austin. The machine provides free 24/7 access to Narcan, a nasal opioid overdose reversal medication.
This is the third Narcan vending machine N.I.C.E. Project has installed in Austin. The other two are located at the Sunrise Homeless Navigation Center (4430 Menchaca Road) and Sahara Lounge (1413 Webberville Road).
THOSE Vending Machines, a local vending machine company with locations at Last Stand Brewing and Spokesman Coffee, congratulated N.I.C.E. Project on their third machine.
"This #narcan vending machine is a gift to the community," THOSE Vending Machines said in an Instagram post. "Carrying Narcan, even if you are sober is a great idea, especially at festivals like @SXSW. It can treat narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. Best of all it’s free!"
Just last week, Austin officials told the community that they knew people would be using drugs during the spring festival season, including South by Southwest, even though it is illegal to do so. They said if that is the case, the best thing to do is be in a group and have Narcan on hand just in case.
In addition to N.I.C.E. Project's vending machines, Narcan is also available over-the-counter at any CVS or Walgreens pharmacy. The University of Texas also distributes Narcan at the Perry-Castañeda Library on campus.
This effort to prevent opioid overdoses comes amid a continued spike in fentanyl-related poisonings in Central Texas, with numbers increasing each year for the past few years. Recently released state data shows there were a combined 251 fentanyl-related overdoses in Travis, Williamson and Hays counties in 2022.