Harm Reduction on College Campuses: Implementation Strategies for Naloxone Access
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A recent survey of college students (Encountering Overdose: Examining the Contexts and Correlates of US College Students’ Overdose Experiences: Substance Use & Misuse: Vol 57, No 10 (tandfonline.com) found that 41% reported at least one type of overdose encounter and witnessed overdose was most common. Respondents commonly encountered overdoses as bystanders with 20-40% reported overdose related fatalities.
Overdose deaths have been on the rise in the United States and the availability of naloxone (Narcan) can mean the difference between life or death for someone. Some college/universities are working to increase student access to this life saving medication.
Presenters from North Dakota State University will discuss how they brought a naloxone training and education program, Be the ONE, to their campus. They will be provide a detailed description of the program and how they engaged campus administrators and students to ensure its success.
The University of Colorado Boulder first began free distribution of naloxone in spring 2018 through the on-campus pharmacy. That effort expanded after the state of Colorado passed the Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention bill in May 2022. The passage of this bill allowed the campus to increase opioid prevention and response efforts that included moving free distribution of Kloxxado from the pharmacy to the Health Promotion office, purchasing and distributing fentanyl test strips and creating the Safer Night Out harm reduction Buff boxes that are free to students living in the residence halls.
This panel presentation will describe the programs and how they were successfully implemented. There will be an opportunity for Q & A so more campuses can increase access to life saving practices. Marvis Doster, ORN, will be the moderator for the Q & A/panel discussion following their presentations.
Presenters will be: Amy Werremeyer, PharmD, BCPP is a tenured Professor and Department Chair in the School of Pharmacy at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, ND. She is certified by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties in Psychiatric Pharmacy. Dr. Werremeyer has over 16 years of experience in psychiatric pharmacy practice with interdisciplinary teams in inpatient, partial hospital, and ambulatory psychiatry settings where she has provided drug information and consultation services, group patient education, and pharmacy student education in behavioral health. Dr. Werremeyer’s research focuses on the study of patient experiences related to medications for treatment of mental illness and substance use disorders. She, along with a team of interprofessional colleagues from NDSU, is a researcher in the ONE Program (Opioid and Naloxone Education) that focuses on upstream prevention of opioid-related harms. Dr. Werremeyer is passionate about reducing mental illness and substance use disorder stigma amongst healthcare professionals and works with an interdisciplinary team in sponsoring SNAP the Stigma, an engagement website for sharing and reflecting on lived experiences. She is highly involved in, and president-elect of, the American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists, the national professional home for psychiatric pharmacists.
Dr. Elizabeth Skoy, is an Associate Professor at North Dakota State University, and the acting Director of the Center for Collaboration and Advancement in Pharmacy. Dr. Skoy is also a practicing community pharmacist and has been an integral collaborator with the ONE Program to prevent opioid misuse and accidental overdose through community pharmacy screening and the provision of naloxone. She provides advocacy and education to increase the availability of naloxone and is a recipient of the North Dakota Cardinal Health Generation Rx Award.
Leisha Conners Bauer is acting assistant vice chancellor in Health and Wellness Services at the University of Colorado Boulder with almost 20 years of experience in substance use prevention and education. Prior to stepping into the acting assistant vice chancellor role in May 2022, Leisha served as the director of the Office of Health Promotion and Collegiate Recovery Center. As director Leisha supervised a team of 15 professional staff and 15 student employees that held responsibility for the campus’s health education, outreach, prevention, early intervention, and recovery programs. Critical topic areas included substance use, stress, sexual health, sleep, suicide prevention, healthy eating, and illness prevention, including COVID-19 response. Prior to her role has director, Leisha was the program manager for Boulder County’s Healthy Youth Alliance, which focused on community-based substance use prevention strategies partnering with the local school districts and community organizations. Leisha also has experience in managing grants that support substance use work such as Drug-Free Communities Support Program and as a Colorado substance abuse block grant recipient. As a first-generation, low-income student, Leisha received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her master’s from the University of Colorado Denver.