Florida State University is now offering education sessions and free distribution of the nasal spray naloxone to the campus community, equipping individuals with a tool that can potentially save someone’s life. Also known by the brand name Narcan, the medication reverses the effects of opioid overdose.
“We know that the rise of drugs containing fentanyl has created a public health crisis, particularly for young people,” said Angela Lauer Chong, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “The smallest amount of fentanyl can prove to be lethal. Education, accessibility to Narcan, and calling first responders are ways that students can intervene and facilitate life-saving care if they are with someone in crisis.”
Education sessions involve easy-to-understand instructions for recognizing and responding to a suspected overdose and a chance to talk to a medical provider at University Health Services if there are any questions or concerns. Participants in the sessions each receive Narcan kits containing two doses of nasal spray.
The idea of offering Narcan education and kits came from the FSU student community.
“Our students requested that Narcan be accessible on campus, so we started the process of becoming a Narcan distribution site in August 2022,” said Rose Rezaei, director for the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness.
UHS is partnering with the Florida Department of Children and Families to distribute Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray kits to members of the FSU community.
“The goal of this important service is to provide individuals who are at risk of either experiencing or witnessing an overdose with the tools to potentially save a person’s life,” said Dr. Christopher DeLisle, medical director at University Health Services. “As the Narcan is given free of charge, this is one less barrier that may keep someone from being able to access the medication, and I encourage anyone who has an interest to attend one of our events.”
Last month, over 50 students participated in training sessions and approximately 77 kits were distributed. The next training sessions will take place at 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in the FSU Health and Wellness Center, Room 2500.
Florida State University is one of the few universities that offers a collegiate recovery community and provides a supportive community to those with substance use disorders, through the program known as LIFT (Living Intentionally, Finding Togetherness). And like many institutions, FSU promotes the existence of an amnesty policy – where students can call 911 to help themselves or others in physical distress from alcohol or other drugs without fear of disciplinary action.
To learn more about FSU’s Narcan distribution program, frequently asked questions and upcoming training sessions, visit uhs.fsu.edu/narcan.