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Narcan now available in most AED machines across campus

Alissa Van Dress
An AED station in Murphy Residence Hall with the addition of Narcan to prevent overdoses.

Drug overdoses are at an all time high according to the National Safety Council with 2022 seeing over 100,000 fatalities in total. On college campuses in particular, opioid use has increased substantially over the last two decades, seeing a 343% growth since 1993.

This problem hits close to home for Blue Streaks. Just last year, two students at Ohio State University died due to fentanyl overdoses, one of whom was raised just 31 minutes away from John Carroll in Broadview Heights. Additionally, in 2000, JCU student Jared R. Chrzanowski collapsed and died at a party at Kent State University with some sources saying that his passing could be drug-related.

In light of this issue, students at John Carroll are working to implement precautionary measures to assure that deaths like this never happen again. Student Government President Morgan Anderson ‘25 spearheaded an initiative to educate students about the widespread availability of Narcan, a lifeline to prevent a deadly overdose.

Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as “a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.” A successful dose of the nasal spray form of this remedy, the version now available in AED cabinets across John Carroll, can halt an overdose within two to three minutes.

Anderson said she first learned about the importance of having Narcan available after hearing stories about tragedies at other college campuses. She was strengthened to tackle this initiative after attending national and statewide conferences for Student Government leaders.

“I asked a lot of questions and tailored this initiative to JCU and our Jesuit Values,” Anderson told The Carroll News. “I found that Narcan is the most exemplified form of risk management that allows for students the chance to save lives without shame or stigma, especially with our location in the Cleveland area.”

Soon, administrators got on board with the idea. Anderson gives heavy credit to Lisa Brown Cornelius, Melissa Cole, Jan Krev, Naomi Sigg and JCUEMS for diving deep into this project.

“I am pleased, due to leadership from JCUEMS and collaboration with the Student Health Center and JCUPD, we are able to offer Narcan as a resource to our campus community,” Brown Cornelius told The Carroll News. “While I, along with the rest of the community, hope there is not a use for it, it is very reassuring to know the resource is readily available along with easy-to-follow instructions. I encourage all members of our campus community to familiarize themselves with the locations of AEDs and Narcan.”

While I, along with the rest of the community, hope there is not a use for it, it is very reassuring to know the resource is readily available along with easy-to-follow instructions.

— Lisa Brown Cornelius

JCUEMS purchased the Narcan last fall from Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) through the Ohio Department of Health, but the sprays were not placed in the cabinets inside blue pouches until April of this year. Hayden Smith ‘25, a key player on the EMS front of this initiative, says he hopes Narcan’s widespread availability will help students feel comfortable using it if the situation were to arise.

“Our primary goal with the Narcan initiative is to prevent opioid overdoses on our campus through reducing barriers to access naloxone, community awareness/education and collaboration from all aspects of the campus community,” Smith told The Carroll News. “Unfortunately, the fear of repercussions involved in calling for help is a factor that we need to be proactive about.”

After this initial push, Smith says he and his team are working to make Narcan available in other areas such as Don Shula Stadium. Anderson also assured that Student Government and JCUEMS would be working together to help educate the campus on what an overdose may look like and how to handle the situation appropriately. She says that while these measures are not directly responsive to any specific instances at John Carroll, they are meant to prepare the community in case an overdose were to occur.

“Regardless of the habits of JCU Students, it is far better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it,” Anderson said. “I truly hope that Narcan will never need to be used on campus. I hope that we never see the fruits of our labor, however, I know that if Narcan is able to save one student’s life, all of our work will pay off.”

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About the Contributors
Laken Kincaid
Laken Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief
Laken Kincaid is the Editor-in-Chief for The Carroll News from Beckley, West Virginia. They are a senior at John Carroll University who is double majoring in political science and communications (digital media) and minoring in leadership development. Laken has written for The Carroll News since the start of their freshman year and has previously served as a staff reporter, campus section editor and managing editor of the paper. They have received 18 Best of SNO awards, a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for Region 4 and two honorable mentions from the College Media Association. They have also been recognized by universities like Georgetown for their investigative reports. Additionally, they also write political satire for The Hilltop Show and feature stories on global poverty for The Borgen Project. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Laken is involved with the Kappa Delta sorority, the speech and debate team, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Improv club and other organizations. They also serve as the news director for WJCU 88.7, John Carroll's own radio station, and as the president for John Carroll's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.  Laken also started their own national nonprofit organization known as Art with the Elderly which they have won the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Humanity Rising Award for. When not writing, Laken can be found doing graphic design for their internship with Union Home Mortgage or working as a resident assistant and peer learning facilitator on campus. Laken also enjoys skiing and watching true crime documentaries. In the future, Laken hopes to become a political journalist for a national news organization or to be a campaign commercial editor for politicians. To contact Laken, email them at [email protected].
Alissa Van Dress
Alissa Van Dress, Campus Editor
Alissa Van Dress is a junior English major from Amherst, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing with minors in business, creative writing and Spanish and Hispanic Studies. Previously, Alissa served as the copy editor at The Carroll News. In addition to her current role as campus editor, Alissa is a JCU football and basketball cheerleader, a writing consultant at the JCU Writing Center, works as a digital engagement ambassador for the JCU Carroll Fund, and serves on the visual arts committee for The Carroll Review. Also, she is honored to have co-founded the Theatre Club at John Carroll University. Other than writing, some of Alissa's favorite hobbies include musical theater, vocal performance, fashion, dance and cheerleading/acrobatics. After graduation, Alissa plans to write for children's entertainment.

To contact Alissa, email her at [email protected].

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