Randy Yohe Published

Lifesaving Naloxone Kits Heading To W.Va. Campuses


Naloxone kits will soon be available at West Virginia colleges and universities statewide.

West Virginia’s Drug Intervention Institute and the Collegiate Recovery Network have teamed up to supply the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug, often referred to by its brand name, Narcan.

The boxes, called ONEbox, include two doses of intranasal naloxone, a mask, gloves and sanitary wipes.

Dr. Susan Bissett, president of the intervention institute, said more than half of all 26 state campuses have signed up for the naloxone kits. She points out that college campuses are often the center of a community and data shows students are prone to drug experimentation.

“We have a lot of data that suggests students misuse prescription as well as illicit drugs,” Bissett said. “And with the increase of fentanyl throughout the United States and West Virginia, I think it’s really important that we’re equipped and prepared to respond to an overdose.”

Bissett said the naloxone kit comes with a digital training link, but it also has video instructions.

“As soon as someone opens the box, Jan Rader, the former fire chief from Huntington, West Virginia comes down and walks the individual through how to respond to the emergency,” Bissett said.

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Dr. Susan Bissett
West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute

If for some reason the video were not to work, there’s a QR code in a tappable area where you can pull the video up on your phone. Bissett said there are also written instructions that somebody can tear off and take with them to the person.

The kits will be placed in residence halls and student unions. Bissett said one school will put a kit in every building on campus. She hopes to soon expand the grant funded naloxone kit distribution project throughout the state, and the nation.

“I think schools, libraries, courthouses, and sporting venues would be great places to put kits,” Bissett said. “I think there are businesses, restaurants, parking garages, the possibilities are limitless.”

Bissett said naloxone is a key part of state and federal harm reduction efforts. She said people can’t recover if they are no longer with us, and what naloxone does is enable someone to breathe and gives them the opportunity to seek recovery.