CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Seconds can count when it comes to saving a person’s life during an overdose. That is why groups are teaming up with colleges and universities in the Mountain State to give easy access to a life-saving overdose reversal drug.
“It is very easy just for someone to take the wrong thing and get mixed up with the wrong drug. It is better to have Narcan on standby that way we can save a life,” said Christian Gilbert. He is a student at BridgeValley Community and Technical College. He is also in recovery. Gilbert was happy to hear about an effort headed up by the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute and the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network to install “Naloxboxes’ on campuses across the region.
So far, seven schools have signed up to participate.
Dr. Susan Bissett, President of the WV DII said the number of overdoses on college campuses is hard to measure.
“Statistics are collected by county so we don’t have a way to decipher or determine that,” she said. “But I can tell you as someone who worked in student affairs for 25 years they are not unusual. They do happen.”
The boxes contain naloxone and other supplies as well as instructions. People can also scan a code with their phone to bring up a quick video.
At BridgeValley the ‘Naloxbox’ will hang by the information desk next to the first aid kit. Gilbert said giving people tools and training could save someone’s life so they have a chance to get help and get better.
“If you don’t have it on standby right then and there it is a good possibility that is going to be your last day here,” Gilbert said. “I think it is really important that we have something like that.”
The boxes are free and organizers will be refilling them with more supplies as they are used. The groups will start installing the first round of Naloxboxes next week at the participating schools.