University campus provides free Narcan to students
Bridgewater State University is now the first campus in the country to offer public access to Narcan, a medical product that helps alleviate and reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
According to The Enterprise, the medication will be publicly available at more than 50 locations on campus by the first day of classes on Wednesday. The introduction of the new program will also be accompanied by a campus-wide Narcan training session that is slated for September 12.
“This event, which includes Narcan training, is free of charge, and open to all BSU faculty, staff, students, and the members of the community at large,” the BSU police department said on its website. “The event will roll out BSU's new Public Access Narcan Program. In addition, attendees will hear from subject matter experts in the fields of substance abuse prevention and recovery, law enforcement, and the District Attorney's Office.”
BSU police Sgt. Robert McEvoy told the publication that “BSU will be the first university in the nation with public access to Narcan,” adding that the general public will now be able to “go into any school building, get Narcan, and administer it if need be.”
While McEvoy acknowledged that “Narcan can stop a (fatal) overdose,” he also stressed that the medication does not “prevent addiction.”
The law enforcement official also noted that he has only heard positive feedback about the program thus far, remarking that “people are extremely interested.”
The decision to implement the public access Narcan program comes after a BSU student fatally overdosed on campus last year. When commenting on the tragedy in an interview with The Enterprise, McEvoy quipped that even one fatality “is too many.”
In the last three years, 25 people in the Bridgewater community have have died as a result of an opioid-related overdose, the publication reported. Ten of the fatalities were registered in 2016, 11 in 2015, and four in 2014.
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