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HORICON, Wis.— Chief Joseph Adamson of the Horicon Police Department has responded to many overdose calls in his career. He now carries Narcan with him everywhere.
“You never know when you’re going to run into an opportunity to help save a life,” Adamson said.
He was excited to help install one of the first public opioid rescue kits in Wisconsin inside the lobby of his station.
“Where do we have fire extinguishers? Places open to the public. Where do we have defibrillators? Places open to the public. Where do we have first aid kits? Places open to the public,” Adamson said. "Why not have this life-saving resource right next to each and every one of those resources we provide our public citizens?”
Advocacy groups agree.
Outreach specialists with Wisconsin Voices for Recovery have now put up 12 opioid recovery kits at places like gas stations, hotels, and multiple healthcare locations across the state.
“People can just come in, grab a dose if they know somebody who needs it, and just have it on hand with them,” said Wes Van Epps with Wisconsin Voices for Recovery.
The organization teamed up with Serve You Rx, a Milwaukee-based pharmacy, to install the kits.
Inside, there is a nasal spray version of naloxone, the drug that reverses the effects of an overdose, instructions on how to use it, and information on how to get help for recovery.
“If we can get out there and get these boxes installed, it kind of helps to de-stigmatize opioid addiction,” said Jessica Geschke with Wisconsin Voices for Recovery. "It helps people be able to walk into places that our boxes are and take the Narcan, no questions asked.”
Geschke said since those boxes started being installed in February, Narcan has been taken from two of them by someone “just in case.”
One was used in an emergency.
“In Madison, at one of our hotel chains, where an individual did overdose in the hotel and he was revived with the Narcan that was there and his life was saved,” Geschke said.
A saved life from an overdose, Adamson said, means that person can get the help they truly need.
“You can’t address problems if the person isn’t with you anymore,” Adamson added.
The Narcan in the boxes is paid for through a state grant.
Wisconsin Voices for Recovery said it has 15 more kits ready to install, but would like to see every town in Wisconsin have one.