Opioid overdose has been described as a national epidemic. Recently the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory recommending that naloxone be made widely accessible to the public so that non-medical bystanders may effectively intervene to save a life in such cases. While IC has been fortunate in that we have not directly experienced the loss of a student or employee from an opioid overdose, we are taking proactive, preventive measures.
Naloxone (brand name, “Narcan”) is a safe, easy to administer medication that reverses the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. Here at IC, naloxone is now available in the TV/Study Lounge of each residence hall. You'll notice a small red first aid box attached to the wall and labeled, "Emergency Opioid Overdose Station - Naloxone." Two doses of naloxone nasal spray, along with instructions for use, are inside. A naloxone kit and instructions are also available in every AED (automatic external defibrillator) cabinet in campus buildings.
When an opioid overdose (or other medical emergency) occurs, the first step should be to call the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management (OPS) at 911 or 607-274-3333. As an added safety measure, when the first aid box or the AED cabinet is opened, OPS will receive an automatic notification so that officers can quickly respond for assistance at the scene.
The installation of naloxone kits around campus is part of a series of measures spearheaded by the IC Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Team. In addition, we are collaborating with the Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP) to provide free Opioid Overdose Prevention workshops on campus. This workshop is designed to help participants understand basic information about harm reduction and drug use, signs of drug overdose, and how to administer naloxone. Check Intercom and our digital display signs soon for workshop details.
Many thanks to the Office of Facilities, Information Technology, Residential Life & Judicial Affairs, OPS, and Office of the General Counsel for their partnership on this initiative; and a special shout-out to Tim Ryan of Environmental Health & Safety for his ongoing work installing, inspecting and replacing our naloxone kits.
Additional information about opioid overdose and the use of naloxone can be found on the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) website.
More information about the work of Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP) can be found at: https://www.stapinc.org/
For more information, contact Nancy Reynolds in the Center for Health Promotion at firstname.lastname@example.org.