Sean Richer –Anchor Staff
As America suffers from the debilitating opioid crisis, more and more people are learning what to do in the instance of an overdose in their vicinity. RICovery, a student organization here at RIC, has been taking steps to spread such knowledge. The substance abuse support group hosted a training seminar in the Student Union Ballroom on administering the drug Naloxone on Wednesday, March 20.
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a drug that is used to reverse an opioid overdose. It is commonly given through injection or nasal spray. It is an opioid antagonist and can reverse an overdose in minutes. This over-the-counter antidote has gained a lot of steam and has become a staple in the fight against opiate addiction in recent years.
The use of Naloxone is not free of controversy, however. Many critics have stepped forward saying that it facilitates addiction and the use of drugs by eliminating some of the risks of doing them. When asked about this hypothesis, RICovery President Roxanne Newman said, “I understand the reasoning behind it, but the way I see it, in order for someone to quit, they need to be alive first.” She went on to say that Naloxone is simply a “tool” and that wider access to it would mitigate the damage that opiates can inflict on our communities, including Rhode Island College.
This damage has been observed for years all over the country. Opiate overdoses have surpassed car crashes in terms of deaths per year. According to a study by the CDC, over 72,000 people died of an overdose last year. The RIC administration has since resolved to increase access to Naloxone on campus. Kits are currently available at the Browne Health Center and it is planned to become available at every residence hall on every floor. Despite its critics, it seems that Naloxone has found a long lasting place in the war against opiates, and at Rhode Island College.