Opioid overdose emergency kits have been made available across campus

If you live on campus, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a new addition to the residence halls this semester. Opioid overdose emergency kits were placed in Mackin Hall, Bischoff Hall, Laurel Hall, The Overlook, The Lodge by the College Park Apartments and Thomases Commons in the Village during the first week of the semester. Narcan was also placed in each automated external defibrillator (AED) kit located across campus.

Each kit contains Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, and are located under a purple sign that says “Naloxone.” The kits also contain a QR code that links the user to a 30-second training video on how to use Narcan.

Evan Kutzin, the fire marshal and emergency medical service coordinator on campus, said the process to implement these kits has been in place since early in the fall semester. He said that last semester, the school brought in an outside organization to provide Narcan kits for students and staff, and that “parlayed into [thinking about] how we can get the word out and the availability of the kits out even further.” 

As for why this was an important step for Ramapo, Kutzin said he’s always approaching problems before they happen. 

“We really wanted to make sure that in the increase in opioid use and overdoses [across the country], we’re prepared,” he said in an interview.

The boxes and Narcan themselves are simple to use, according to Kutzin. Upon opening the box, you’ll see two doses of Narcan. All you have to do is open the dose and spray it into the nose of someone suffering from an overdose.

“It’s not going to harm anyone,” Kutzin said. “If you suspect someone is having an opioid overdose, Narcan is advisable to give, but if it turns out it was alcohol or they were just in a really deep sleep, it won’t harm them. There are no negative effects.”

Kutzin recommends everyone to undergo training for how to administer Narcan. For more information, students can visit narcan.com and learn about the “Lay, Spray, Stay” strategy, which instructs individuals to check for signs of an overdose, administer Narcan and stay until paramedics arrive.  

Additionally, Kutzin said that it’s important to know that opioids are often taken as prescribed medication to treat pain after injury or surgery and are commonly found in household medicine cabinets. Most major pharmacies also provide Narcan at no charge.

As for what is potentially next for Ramapo in terms of campus safety, Kutzin said they’re looking at upgrading fire alarm systems and adding sprinkler protection to buildings that aren’t fully protected. Additionally, Kutzin would like to add AEDs into each residence hall but that they are currently a “financial obstacle.”




Featured photo by Jenna Barnes