ST. LOUIS – City health officials recently installed St. Louis’ first Narcan distribution box at the Soulard Market.

The distribution box is stocked with several dozen boxes of Narcan, an emergency medicine that rapidly reverses the effects of opioids. It was installed near the main entrance of the Soulard Market on May 22.

City officials say this is the first of several Narcan distribution boxes to be installed around the city in the coming months.

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The Behavioral Health Bureau has developed a partnership with the St. Louis Public Library system to provide boxes in neighborhoods with high documentation of overdoses.

“Providing access to Narcan is critical to our goal of reducing the number of lives lost to overdoses as we tackle substance abuse in our hardest-hit neighborhoods,” said Dr. Julie Gary, chief of the Behavioral Health Bureau. “We will continue to develop and leverage community partnerships to address the mental health issues driving substance use disorders.”

Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, Director of Health for the City of St. Louis, said the boxes are part of the bureau’s mission to meet people where they are and give them faster access to resources.

“We want the City of St. Louis to know that we are out here and we’re dedicated to bringing health resources to communities where they’re most needed,” she said. “We want our residents to have access to Narcan and know how to use it, because it can and does save lives.”

The city says the boxes were made possible through its Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Bureau’s community outreach efforts.