Pala Band of Mission Indians gets 1st naloxone vending machine on tribal land
The Pala Band of Mission Indians has installed what the tribe says is the first Naloxone vending machine ever placed on tribal land in the United States, it was announced Friday.
The tribe has partnered with Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego to get the machine installed at the Pala Fire Department, where free naloxone kits and fentanyl test strips are also available.
"Fentanyl is killing people around the world and here in our own community. Sixteen members of the Pala Tribe have died from opioid-related deaths," said Robert Smith, chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians. "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."
The machine is funded through San Diego County's Naloxone Distribution Program and is among several being installed throughout the county.
The first naloxone vending machine in the county was installed earlier this year at McAlister South Bay Regional Recovery Center in Chula Vista, and county officials say about a dozen others are expected to be installed by the end of the year.
Tara Stamos-Buesig, founder and CEO of Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego, said, "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."