Narcan overdose prevention medication available to students without prescription

Two pack of an opiate overdose prevention spray freely available on campus to students as well as in Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. Adam Sparano l Lariat

An opioid epidemic with deaths that rose from 2019 to 2021 with more than 106,000 drug overdose deaths reported in 2021. Deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (primarily fentanyl) continued to rise with 70,601 overdose deaths reported in 2021. According to statistics posted on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website. On the front line has been Narcan, the number one preventative emergency medicine carried by police, firemen and now for the first time students at Saddleback College will have free access.

According to the Official Narcan website Naloxone, the active ingredient in NARCAN® Nasal Spray, competes with opioids to bind with the same receptors in the brain, reversing the effects of an opioid overdose in 2 to 3 minutes. This allows time for emergency medical help to arriveA person does not need to be breathing for NARCAN® Nasal Spray to work. NARCAN® Nasal Spray is sprayed in the nose and the medicine is absorbed there (by the nasal mucosa).

It does not need to be inhaled (breathed in by the lungs) for the medicine to work.” Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose and Naloxone has no effect on someone who does not have opioid in their system and it is not a treatment for opioid use disorder the website said. 

The College Student Health Center continues to provide information about opioid overdose and Narcan to students, especially during the Bobcat Days” said Angelito Dela Cruz, director of health and wellness center at Saddleback College. “We have not had any students request for Narcan recently. However, Narcan can be accessed at the Student Health Center, Campus Police, and inside every AED defibrillator box on campus.”

Recovery is the goal and there are many resources on campus along with free counciling at the student health and wellness center. Those who have delt with various kinds of substance abuse know it’s a continuous one day at a time journey to freedom.

The fight against these narcotics continues to claim the lives of many, including Arian Malekpourshirazi, editor-in-chief of the Lariat in Spring 2019, who passed away in October 2020.

For additional information on Narcan and to receive your free Narcan which may save a life one day please visit the saddleback student health & wellness center (949) 582-4606 open from 8am to 5pm Monday through Thursday and 8am to 3pm Fridays.