In April, the College of Public Health offered training in administering Nalaxone (brand name Narcan), a drug that reduces the effects of opioids and can reverse otherwise fatal overdoses—which caused 1,200 deaths in 2017, according to the Philadelphia County Medical Examiner’s Office.
After registration for the first event on April 5 reached capacity—within hours of being available—a second training was organized two weeks later. In total, more than 200 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended.
The training was led by Elvis Rosado, education and outreach coordinator at Prevention Point Philadelphia, a local nonprofit that has led harm reduction efforts in the city since the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s. Rosado recapped a brief history of the opioid crisis, shared stories from working at Prevention Point, and explained how to recognize signs of an overdose before demonstrating how to properly administer Nalaxone. Attendees also discussed how to screen for overdose risk and reduce risk factors.
It’s part of a collegewide effort to combat the opioid crisis, which includes efforts from the Departments of Health Services Administration and Policy, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Nursing, and others. In addition, students and faculty across the university are addressing the issue in myriad ways.