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Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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The Knox Student

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Narcan vending machines installed near campus

Narcan+dispenser+in+Moon+Towers+-+Photo+courtesy+of+TSPR
Narcan dispenser in Moon Towers – Photo courtesy of TSPR

Two vending machines stocked with free Naloxone (Narcan) and harm reduction kits were recently installed in Galesburg. One is located in the vestibule of Moon Towers at 255 W. Tompkins St., and the other in the lobby of the Knox County Law Enforcement Center at 152 S. Kellogg St.

Narcan is an opioid overdose reversal agent. Additionally, the harm reduction kits contain strips to test substances for fentanyl and other harmful additives.

Both machines were donated free of cost through harm reduction specialist Sue Tisdale, a contact of the System of Care Coordinator at Bridgeway in Galesburg Jeff McFadden. Bridgeway is an organization that provides health and human services to individuals in need in 20 counties throughout Illinois.

After taking his current position at the beginning of 2024, McFadden met with Amanda Gibson of the Knox County Housing Authority (KCHA).

“Amanda expressed interest in having a Narcan vending machine at Moon Towers,” McFadden said.

Moon Towers is an apartment complex managed by the KCHA for income-based living.

In early February, McFadden also met with Knox County Sheriff Jack Harland, who also expressed interest in installing a machine at the Knox County Jail.

“The sheriff wanted to put one in the jail because DuPage County had one in their jail,” McFadden said. “It just so happened that these are both centrally located in the Galesburg community.”

After these meetings, McFadden reached out to Tisdale about obtaining the vending machines.

The machines require a power source to operate and must also be in a climate controlled area, as Narcan should be stored at room temperature. Incidentally, both of the Galesburg locations also provide 24/7 access to anyone in need of Narcan or a harm reduction kit.

Within weeks of getting in contact with Tisdale, both machines were installed and could be stocked with Narcan and harm reduction kits.

McFadden himself is in long term recovery. He has friends, too, in long term recovery, “remarkable human beings,” whose lives were saved by Narcan.

One woman used Narcan multiple times before she entered recovery. She is also the mother of four children of various ages.

“People might talk negatively about substance abuse, about Narcan and stuff like that, but I just think, how grateful her kids are that she was Narcaned,” McFadden said.

According to the CDC, in the United States, drug overdoses rose over the past 20 years to become one of the leading causes of injury death in adults.

“Ultimately, I want people’s lives to be saved,” McFadden said.

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About the Contributor
Jenna Schweikert
Jenna Schweikert, EIC-In-Training
Jenna Schweikert '25 (she/they) is a journalism and political science double major. They are the Editor-In-Chief In-Training for The Knox Student. In her free time, she enjoys dancing in her room to Taylor Swift records. You can most often find Jenna writing in the Gizmo or attending Terp rehearsals in CFA. Awards: Illinois College Press Association 2024
  • 3rd Place Column
Theodore Hazen Kimbale Memorial Award in Journalism - Feature article, 2022

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