May 17, 2024
  • Correctional Health Services and the Sheriff’s Office have installed a machine to dispense free doses of Narcan – the drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose – in the public lobby of the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City. To reduce community harm and potentially save lives, the machine provides a box of Narcan containing two doses to anyone who needs it, including inmates who are being released, their families and friends and members of the public.

    Narcan Vending Machine
    Narcan dispensary located in the public lobby of the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City.

    A nasal spray, Narcan (the brand name for the drug naloxone) is safe to use and easy to deploy, making it possible for anyone – friends, bystanders – to provide lifesaving aid. While first responders carry naloxone, the medication can be administered even before calling 911, as seconds count if someone is experiencing an overdose.

    The California Department of Public Health recommends that friends and family members who know someone at increased risk for opioid overdose, especially those with opioid use disorder, carry naloxone and keep it at home. Also, people who are taking high-dose opioid medications prescribed by a doctor, people who use opioids and benzodiazepines together and people who use drugs should all carry naloxone and let others know they have it in case they experience an opioid overdose.

    Good Samaritan law protects those giving emergency medical care at the scene of a medical emergency, including giving naloxone.


    The vending machine also offers a touchscreen to provide information about other available services, such as those for food, housing, substance use treatment, mental health, probation and parole.

    “This effort took over a year and is the result of a great partnership with the Sheriff’s Office,” said Correctional Health Services Director Michael del Rosario. “As we strive to make improvements in the services we provide to our incarcerated persons and to the community, we hope that we can help save a few lives with this project.”

    In May 2023 after a public study session on the growing public health threat posed by cheap opioids and fentanyl, the Board of Supervisors recommended providing access to naloxone; increasing cooperation among County Health, public safety officials and other stakeholders; promoting public education and collecting data to identify at-risk areas or populations.

    Correctional Health Services and the Sheriff’s Office have taken steps to address addiction and mental illness in correctional facilities by expanding the Behavioral Health Unit and the Medical Observation Unit (formerly the Detox Unit). Both units include a dedicated professional team with customized resources on site. Read more here.

    Group Photo
    Left to right: Michael del Rosario (director, Correctional Health Services), Peter Morris (supervising mental health clinician), Darryl Liu (mental health program specialist), Jennifer Basler (clinical services manager for mental health), Sheriff Christina Corpus, Lt. Michael Tabak, Capt. William Fogarty, Sgt. Cristofer Serrano.
    Media Contact

    Preston Merchant
    Communications Officer
    San Mateo County Health