– Saratoga County Department of Health and Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) have deployed NaloxBoxes in the restrooms of SPAC to combat the opioid crisis, providing emergency nasal sprays of Naloxone to potentially save lives.
– The initiative is funded through Opioid Settlement Funds and is part of a multi-agency approach involving the Department of Health, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Sheriff’s Office.
In a move that may inspire a new wave of restroom literature titled “How to Save a Life While Going Number Two,” Saratoga County Department of Health and Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) have teamed up to fight the opioid crisis in a most unconventional way. They’ve deployed four NaloxBoxes within the confines of SPAC, more precisely, in the restrooms of The Pines and The Pinecones buildings. And no, these aren’t some fancy new vending machines for emergency toilet paper.
NaloxBoxes are public emergency boxes loaded with multiple prepackaged nasal sprays of Naloxone, a medication capable of reversing an opioid overdose. It’s a campaign that puts a new spin on the term “public service,” making every restroom-goer a potential superhero. Next time you’re at the SPAC and feel nature’s call, remember to wash your hands, and oh, be prepared to save a life.
The concept channels the life-saving spirit of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). Because who doesn’t enjoy a good old comparison between heart restarters and opioid antidotes? Just like how you’d be able to find an AED in case of a sudden cardiac arrest, a NaloxBox could be your go-to in case of an opioid overdose.
To ensure that the boxes are placed where they’ll serve the most good, Saratoga County is leveraging its Department of Health’s Substance Use Surveillance System. The initiative, which cost a cool $9,134, is funded through Opioid Settlement Funds. Because what’s a few thousand dollars when you’re dealing with a crisis that’s more relentless than a telemarketer on commission?
Speaking of funds, Saratoga County has received approximately $1,156,700 in Opioid Settlement Funds since last year. Take a moment to let that sink in. That’s about a million and more reasons why initiatives like the NaloxBox are not just novel, they’re necessary. The funds are being put to use for a multi-agency approach, involving the Department of Health, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Sheriff’s Office.
Now, if you think the NaloxBox initiative is a bit dramatic, allow me to share some sobering statistics. There have been 30 drug-related overdose fatalities in Saratoga County just this year, marking a 30% increase from this time in 2022. If that doesn’t make you gulp, consider this: the 12866 zip code of Saratoga Springs has seen 109 non-fatal and fatal drug-related overdoses in the same period.
So, in the grand scheme of things, having a NaloxBox in a restroom seems as sensible as carrying an umbrella during the monsoon. The next time you find yourself in Saratoga County, consider checking out these NaloxBoxes. Who knows, you might just save a life while answering nature’s call.