MARCH 20, 2023
SJR State adds overdose reversal kit to campus safety measures
As concerns grow over the opioid epidemic (including the synthetic fentanyl), public schools and colleges throughout the state are making it possible to save lives on campus with an overdose-reversal nasal spray kit. As part of a state grant tailored toward substance abuse and rehabilitation efforts, NARCAN® nasal spray kits have been donated to St. Johns River State College as a proactive safety measure. The kits were made possible through Lutheran Services of Florida, a non-profit organization, in partnership with Shining Light Peer Services, a local recovery community organization.
According to SJR State Director of Campus Safety Brian Keith, opioid use and the risk of overdose are growing health concerns throughout the state. Unfortunately, one major cause of an opioid overdose is accidental. “Opioids are often laced in other drugs, including marijuana. It can be found in fake Adderall or even candy,” Keith said. “Because of this, unsuspecting recreational drug users may have serious problems with a drug they would never otherwise go near.”
SJR State President Joe Pickens said the addition of the kits is not a message that the College is condoning the use of illegal drugs, but rather a proactive safety solution for the community. “There have been no instances of an overdose on campus, but if we were to experience one, it would be a tragedy to not be prepared,” Pickens said.
NARCAN® is a potentially lifesaving medication designed to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose in minutes. According to Keith, any student, staff or faculty member is capable of administering the spray. The kits are located in each building on College’s three campuses, inside the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) boxes. According to Keith, much of the policy for the treatment came from the University of Central Florida, where it has been in use for several years.