Opioid overdose has been described as a national epidemic. In response, the U.S. Surgeon General recently 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 opiate overdose, we are taking proactive public health measures to prevent this tragedy from occurring on our campus.
As you pass by any of the AED (automatic external defibrillator) cabinets on campus, you’ll notice a bright gold sticker labeled, “Naloxone.” Naloxone (brand name, “Narcan”) is a safe, over-the-counter medication that can reverse the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. Two doses of naloxone nasal spray, along with instructions for use, are now available in every AED cabinet on campus.
Recently, naloxone kits have also been installed in the TV/Study Lounge located in each of the residence halls on campus. In the lounge, you'll notice a small red first aid box on the wall, labeled "Emergency Opioid Overdose Station - Naloxone." Two doses of naloxone nasal spray, along with instructions for use, are inside. Anytime the box is opened, an automatic notification will be sent to the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management. OPS officers will quickly respond to the scene to provide assistance.
The installation of naloxone kits around campus is part of a series of measures spearheaded by the IC Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Prevention Team. In addition, the AOD Team is collaborating with our local Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP) to provide free Opioid Overdose Prevention workshops to interested individuals 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 in the case of an opioid overdose emergency. Participants who complete the workshop have the option to receive a free opioid overdose prevention/naloxone kit.
Check Intercom and digital display signs around campus for upcoming Opioid Overdose Prevention Workshop dates and times during the academic year.
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.