PALA, CA – The Pala Band of Mission Indians is partnering with Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego to install the first Naloxone vending machine on sovereign land. Funded through San Diego County, the machine is located at the Pala Fire Department and will be a vital tool in reducing fentanyl overdoses and preventing opioid-related deaths.
This is the first machine of its kind to be placed on tribal land in the United States. The Pala Tribe has committed to recognizing and addressing the need within the community to set an example for tribal nations across the United States. Naloxone vending machines have already been installed in various places throughout the country and have proven to be effective.
“Fentanyl is killing people around the world and here in our own community,” said Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians. “Sixteen members of the Pala Tribe have died from opioid-related deaths. We look forward to continuing to work with Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego to provide vital education and resources to stop these deaths. Through this program, we know we will save lives and secure a better future for everyone.”
Anyone can visit the Pala Fire Department to pick up a free Naloxone kit and fentanyl test strips. Naloxone, also known as NARCAN®, is a fast-acting nasal spray that can stop a fentanyl or other opioid-related overdose and save a life by quickly restoring breathing. The Naloxone vending machine is designed to foster preparedness for everyone.
“By forming strategic partnerships between harm reduction community organizations and tribal governments, I believe we are on the right path to significantly help one of the most affected populations for opioid overdose,” said Tara Stamos-Buesig, Founder and CEO of Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego.
Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego works with the Pala Tribe on a variety of programs and events to provide education on the dangers of fentanyl and the importance of naloxone. The partnership between the Pala Tribe and Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego is made possible through funding from the County of San Diego. The vending machine has been placed free of charge through the County of San Diego’s Naloxone Distribution Program. San Diego County has led a variety of initiatives to address the opioid epidemic, including wide distribution of naloxone.