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Naloxone overdose rescue kit

Opioid overdose rescue kits available throughout SOU campus

Last year’s initiative to place overdose rescue kits at various locations on the SOU campus, enabling friends or passersby to save the lives of those experiencing opioid overdoses, has expanded this year.

A total of 20 Naloxone rescue kits – up from 18 last year – are now located at SOU: in the Shasta, McLoughlin, Cox, and Madrone residence halls; the Greensprings Complex; Aspen and Hawthorne halls in the Cascade Complex; the Education/Psychology, Theatre, Music, and Science buildings; The Hawk; the Facilities, Maintenance and Planning building; Stevenson Union; Hannon Library; two locations in Lithia Motors Pavillion; the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the Campbell Center; and Britt and Taylor Halls. A map of all kit locations is available on Inside SOU.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, can legally be possessed and administered in Oregon. It has no narcotic effects, and works by reversing opioid-induced depression of the respiratory and central nervous systems. 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. 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’s proactive approach to addressing the issue has been effective, as one kit was used last year.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

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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.

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SOU training session addresses opioid use locally

Members of the SOU campus community are invited to participate in a training session on Wednesday that may prepare them to save the life of a friend, colleague or student experiencing an opioid overdose.

Students from the Oregon Health & Science University nursing program at SOU are offering a Naloxone Project training session from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday in the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room. Participants will learn how to use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses, and will receive free naloxone kits.

Anyone may attend, and admission is free.

“I sincerely wish that we had no need for this training at SOU – that the national opioid crisis could not reach our campus,” SOU President Linda Schott said Tuesday in a message to campus. “Tragically, that is not the case. We have lost students to overdoses, and there are others on our campus who are at risk.

“I encourage you to attend the naloxone training session,” she said. “You can be ready to save a life, if ever confronted with an overdose.”

Naloxone effectively treats overdoses by reversing opioid-caused depression to the central nervous system and respiratory system. It is safe, non-addictive and does not require a prescription.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimated that more than 26,000 opioid overdoses were reversed through the use of naloxone kits from 1996 to 2014.

President Schott pointed out that much work must be done nationally to address the opioid epidemic, but said those at the local level can do their part “by preparing … to help those who would otherwise become its victims.”

Wednesday’s training session is supported by the HIV Alliance and Max’s Mission, a local nonprofit that offers free naloxone and raises awareness of the danger of drug overdoses. It was created by the parents of Max Pinsky, a 25-year-old Ashland man who was lost to an overdose five years ago.

Those who have specific questions about opioid use and treatment options for those with addictions may contact the Student Health and Wellness Center for more information.