The Central Ozarks Medical Center (COMC) announced on Monday that its Narcan-stocked vending machines around the mid-Ozarks area are now stocked with free fentanyl test strips.
Individuals can visit the vending machines and use the voucher/coupon button on the machine to obtain the strips.
“Legislation signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson now allows people to obtain and use fentanyl testing strips, which could help curb overdose deaths linked to the powerful painkiller,” COMC CEO Kelly Miller said.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, more than 2,000 drug-related deaths occurred in Missouri in 2021, and 70% of those involved a synthetic overdose.
According to Miller, the strips, once known as drug paraphernalia, were illegal to possess. Now free of charge, the strips prevent drug overdoses by detecting fentanyl in various drugs.
The addition of Narcan strips contributes to the medical center’s “patient approach” method toward treating substance abuse disorders. Other services COMC provides are peer coach services and behavioral therapies.
The locations of the vending machines include the following:
Lebanon Police Department, 401 S. Jefferson Ave., Lebanon
The HUB, A COMC Community Center: 1371C Bagnell Dam Blvd., Lake Ozark
Pulaski County Health Department, 104 Ashley May Lane, St. 102, Waynesville
COMC Camdenton, 1652 N. Business Route 5, Camdenton
COMC Richland, 304 W. Washington Ave., Richland
Dixon Ambulance District, 305 S. Ellen St., Dixon