SOU campus encouraged to prepare for overdose life-saving

Rescue kits that have been placed at 18 locations on the SOU campus will enable friends or passersby save the lives of those who may be experiencing an opioid overdose.

The kits, with nasal spray containers of the rescue medication naloxone, are located primarily in easy-to-find fire extinguisher and AED cabinets throughout campus. Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, can legally be possessed and administered in Oregon. It does not have any narcotic effects, and works by reversing opioid-induced depression of the respiratory and central nervous systems.

The nasal spray is easy to use, but familiarity with the procedures is advised. Self-training tools include an eight-minute video with details on how and when to administer naloxone, and a step-by-step description of the medication’s use.

An average of more than 115 people per day die of opioid overdose in the U.S., and a spike in opioid use and overdoses has been seen in southern Oregon. SOU is taking a proactive approach to the situation because the university has lost students to overdose, and some others on campus are considered to be at risk.

Opioids include drugs such as heroin and methadone, along with prescription pain medications including hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, hydromorphone, morphine, oxymorphone, fentanyl and buprenorphine.

Overdoses requiring lifesaving treatment can occur in a wide variety of settings and circumstances, so everyone is encouraged to prepare as emergency responders.

The naloxone rescue kits at SOU are located in the Education/Psychology Building, Stevenson Union, Taylor Hall, Theater Building, Science Building, Hannon Library, Britt Hall, Cox Hall, Aspen Hall, Madrone Hall, Campbell Center, Greensprings Complex, Shasta Hall, McLoughlin Hall, The Hawk, Lithia Motors Pavilion, Student Recreation Center, and the Facilities, Maintenance and Planning office.