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Family members of overdose victims say new Monterey Narcan boxes could help save lives

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION-TV) -- Monterey Police says drug overdoses are becoming more common. Multiple agencies are thinking of creative ways to prevent deaths, including replacing old newspaper bins with "Narcan Boxes."

New "Narcan Boxes" will be placed in multiple places in the City of Monterey to prevent overdose deaths from increasing.

The locations include the Monterey Transit Plaza, the Monterey Police Department and the Monterey Outreach and Navigation Center at 401 Camino El Estero.

In 2023 there were 109 deaths in the county related to overdoses. This is compared to the 88 from the previous year.

Michelle says she found her son, Tyler, unconscious before he died.

“When I called and tried dialing 911 I was panicking when my son was overdosing the first time, it was just hard to do that with these Narcan boxes you could just open it as opposed to vending machine were your putting in numbers," Michelle Hamilton said. "You don’t even have time to think when you’re in that mode of saving someone’s life, you need to be able to get in there and get it fast.” 

She's now in a group called "Window of Awareness and Hope." Each member of the group lost a child to fentanyl overdose.

“We hope to provide awareness also a place where people can come and remember our children and also help provide hope to families that do have people in their family that are struggling with substance abuse," Hamilton said.

That awareness starts with access to Narcan, which now the city of Monterey is placing in key areas using old newspaper bins.

“We cleaned them up, sanded them down, repainted them to get them ready to have a way to help the community," Reb close a physician leads for CCOP said.

Ashley Callaú also lost her son to a fentanyl overdose.

She says it's important for people to carry Narcan.

“The thing with these drugs nowadays, is that a lot of them do have fentanyl in it, I feel that it’s better to have it and not need it than not to have," Callaú said.

The Narcan boxes will be monitored by police.

If you see one is empty there's a number on the box to call for it to be refilled.

For more information on the Narcan now initiative contact the Central Coast Overdose Prevention at

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Briana Mathaw


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