The educational event runs for two hours, and training to administer Narcan takes 15 minutes. Credit: Campus Health and Wellbeing

Every Friday from 4 – 6 p.m. until Oct. 27, Campus Health and Wellbeing will present  “Can you Narcan?,” a distribution event on the Health Center Lawn (BLDG 27). The event will be complete with free snacks, activities, giveaways and more. They will be handing out free test strips, overdose prevention kits and, of course, Narcan. 

Naloxone, more commonly known by the brand name Narcan, is a safe and effective drug for reversing opioid overdoses. It is readily accessible through various Campus Health and Wellbeing services, is non-addictive with virtually no side effects and can save lives. 

Opioid overdose has risen dramatically both nationally and locally in San Luis Obispo. As of 2021, the rate of opioid-related deaths in San Luis Obispo County is higher than that of the state average. Fentanyl, an opioid 50 times more potent than heroin, is cut into illegally purchased drug supply. 

As of Jan. 1, Senate Bill 367, known as the Campus Opioid Safety Act, was signed into effect aiming to reduce opioid-related overdoses and deaths through public colleges and universities. This includes providing life-saving education and information as well as Narcan on campus. 

During the 2022 – 2023 school year, Campus Health and Wellbeing hosted one-hour Narcan distributions every Thursday. This year, they shifted to a new Friday time slot to encourage greater attendance.

According to Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Education Specialist Sarah Kamp, 19 students attended the event last Friday, which was an increase from the events held last school year. 

“Overdose prevention is huge and so we always want to make sure that all of our students know what to look out for and are able to be as safe as possible,” Kamp said. 

Kamp said it is part of Campus Health and Wellbeing’s “harm reduction model.”

“Making sure that students know how to respond if there is an emergency, know what to respond with and then are prepared,” she said. 

The training to learn how to use Narcan only takes 15 minutes. 

Narcan is available free of charge at the Health Center during normal business hours. Test strips, refills and overdose prevention kits are also available by appointment.

Taking place at the same time and location  as these pop-ups will be Pulse’s “Party Smart Pregames.” These events will cover different topics such as last week’s discussion: “Pregame with Protein” about eating before a night out drinking. Pulse is collaborating with different campus and local partners weekly to bring more people to their events, such as the Cal Poly Food Pantry and CalFresh.