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Vending Machine With Free Narcan Installed at Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University on Tuesday unveiled a vending machine that contains free Narcan, a super drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The idea is for students to carry naloxone, also known as Narcan, with them and perhaps be a lifesaver if the need arises.

“Naloxone is a miracle drug that can reverse an opioid overdose within minutes,” assistant Professor Jamie Chang said. “To not have provide this seemed really counterintuitive to a lot of public health principles.”

Chang guided her public health students in getting the vending machine on campus. Now, they’re training others to administer Narcan.

“Substance abuse on college campuses is nothing new for anybody,” student Robert Gamble said. “I think we’re all very much aware of what takes place. This is really a moment for students to really find themselves.”

Students said the effort is not to encourage drug use but to be ready in case of an emergency.

“Especially if you’re going to a concert or places that students frequent often, if you have it on you, if someone needs it … you have it so you can use it,” student Reha Shah said.

Organizers hope students don’t feel a stigma in stepping up to the vending machine and fearing someone might assume they’re drug users, but rather see them as lifesavers.

“Our goal for this is to get naloxone out into the community because the more naloxone that people have in their hands, the more chances there are to save a life,” student Isabella Bunkers said.

Other colleges and universities across the nation are taking this approach. Santa Clara County is considering putting the vending machines on high school campuses.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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