The University of Central Arkansas has become the first college to participate in the Arkansas Collegiate Naloxbox Bystander Rescue Program, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services. This program is meant to increase access to naloxone, also known as Narcan, on college campuses to save lives from opioid overdoses.
“Naloxone enables someone to breathe during an opioid overdose,” Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane said. “This ‘opidemic’ affects so many people from all walks of life, including students in our state’s colleges and universities. Giving students and other bystanders on college campuses the ability to administer naloxone can be the difference between life and death for a young person.”
These Naloxboxes will be strategically placed around college campuses where a student may experience an overdose, like dorms, sorority/fraternity houses, and in high traffic areas like student centers alongside AED defibrillators and fire extinguishers. Each Naloxbox will contain two doses of Naloxone, as well as a mask for rescue breathing, gloves, and information on how to obtain personal Naloxone and how to access addiction treatment. Though most first responders have access to Naloxone, every second matters in the case of an overdose, so the sooner an overdose victim can receive Naloxone, the better their chances of survival.
DHS Program Manager Tenesha Barnes encourages students to be prepared to administer Naloxone, even if they aren’t sure that someone has really overdosed.
“It’s OK if you’re not certain someone is overdosing,” Barnes said. “If a person is treated with Naloxone, but they are not having an overdose, there are no harmful side effects. Also, bystanders that administer the medication are protected by the Good Samaritan law. The bottom line is that we want everyone to be prepared and able to administer life-saving emergency treatment for a possible overdose before it’s too late.”