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'BeTheONE' program brings Nalaxone, drug education to campuses

An initiative is underway to combat overdoses on college campuses through education – and by providing Nalaxone rescue kits.

It’s called “BeTheONE’ – ONE standing for opioid and naloxone education.

NDSU’s Heidi Eukel is with that program. She said it began with a program designed for opioid safety in pharmacies – and it grew from there.

"And with fentanyl on the rise, we thought that our college student population was in great need of education, and the life-saving medication called naloxone," Eukel said. "We train other students to deliver education to their peers on safe medication use and avoiding products that are laced with fentanyl."

Eukel said ten of the 11 University System campuses now have this program. She said having naloxone on campus is like having a fire extinguisher, or an AED device.

"We don't think that we have a bunch of college students that are going to have cardiac arrest, and therefore put an AED on campus," Eukel said. "We put these things in place for prevention — just in case there's a problem. So all of these institutions have recognized that 'We haven't had a problem per se with opioid overdoses, but why wouldn't we have something here just in case?'"

Eukel said along with the campuses, the program has made the rescue boxes available in 23 North Dakota counties. She said they’re placed in sports venues, bars, libraries and gathering spaces.

"If there is an overdose, naloxone is available immediately," Eukel said.

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