New Initiative to Provide Free Medicine to Oklahoma Travelers Along Turnpikes

KOKH - August 30, 2023 6:02 am

Products will be available through a vending machine, placed at seven of the state’s travel centers along turnpikes. (ODMHSAS)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) – The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), is bringing life-saving resources to Oklahomans in the form of Naloxone and Fentanyl Test Strips.

Both products will be available through a vending machine, placed at seven of the state’s travel centers along turnpikes.

This initiative will bring education and awareness about substance use disorders, as well as provide free medicine to vulnerable Oklahomans.

“Accidental overdose is the leading cause of death in the United States for those 18 – 50 years old,” said Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Carrie Slatton-Hodges. “We have an opportunity to save lives if we all work together. ODMHSAS is thankful for our partnership with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority as we seek to serve every corner of our state.”

In addition, the OTA has also added Narcan and fentanyl test strips to the first aid kit of more than 350 agency maintenance and construction vehicles.

“Safety of the traveling public is the top priority of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority,” said OTA Deputy Director Joe Echelle. “Offering this potentially life-saving resource for anyone in need at our service plazas is just another way our agency can contribute to the safety of our patrons.”

The ODMHSAS will place 40 vending machines in strategic ZIP code locations where overdose prevalence is high.

Two vending machines will be located at the I-44/Will Rogers Turnpike service plaza in Vinita along with additional locations by the end of this year on turnpikes in Eastern and Southwestern Oklahoma.

A full list of machines can be found on the okimready.org website.

 

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