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Narcan vending machines. That's the Boise Seal Project's goal. They say new law makes that harder

House Bill 350 was put into law this year, it diverts federal grant funds for Narcan to first responders only.
Posted at 3:28 PM, Nov 04, 2023

  • A non-profit in Boise called the Boise Seal Project looks to raise awareness about fentanyl. They are hoping to get Narcan vending machines in bars all over Boise.
  • The project says a new law, House Bill 350, is going to make it harder for them to get Narcan, as it diverts federal grant money for Narcan to first responders only.
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(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

“Every day it’s hard," Said Kelly Hammaker about her son Jake. "His birthday will be on Saturday and he’ll be 30, He would’ve been 30.”

Hammaker lost Jake in 2020 to a fentanyl overdose.

“It changes your life," Hammaker told me. "It rips a hole in your family.”

Now, her goal is to save as many lives as possible.

She says that’s why she’s working with the non-profit theBoise Seal Project. Their goal is big.

“Narcan distributed anywhere we can," said Jacob Danney, who works with the project. "From the bars to music halls, we want to go with universities where there’s a vending machine, where it’s viable because there’s a frat or sorority.”

Narcan is used to treat opioid overdoses in emergency situations. The Boise Seal Project says Narcan vending machines make the drug accessible in a country where opioid-related deaths aregrowing each year.

The project says they have an agreement with Mulligan's bar downtown, where they will get the first Vending Machine.

But, the group says they have a hurdle now.

During this year’s legislative session, the Idaho legislature passed house bill 350 which dealt with funding for the Department of Health in Welfare.

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One line in the bill said that grant money that would be used to get Narcan will only be available to first responders.

“They’re not using that government funding for those grants to supply your everyday restaurant, your everyday bar or music scene with that Narcan," Danney said.

The project says while first responders carrying Narcan is good, but if more civilians had Narcan, they could help quicker.

Hammaker is sad about the new law. She says it reinforces the stigma about opioid overdoses.

“I think it’s a lot of old school people maybe that think if Narcan is out there that's just going to make people want to do drugs again but really it’s just giving these kids these people a second chance at life," Hammaker said.