Concord University offers free Naloxone training, showcases new “One Box”

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 7:23 PM EST
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ATHENS, W.Va. (WVVA) - Wednesday marked “Harm Reduction Day” at Concord University. Led by the W.Va. Collegiate Recovery Network, the day aimed to educate students on available resources should they encounter someone experiencing an overdose.

The university offered students free Naloxone, and training to go along with it.

“Colleges and universities can be hostile to people in recovery due to the social aspect, the peer pressure, just being away from home and you know, cutting loose,” said Brandon Whitehouse, the university’s Collegiate Recovery Coach.

Whitehouse works with the W.Va. Collegiate Recovery Network to ensure students are ready to save lives in the event of an opioid overdose.

“A lot of our data says that a lot of people that are in recovery now, noticed problems when they were college-aged, or in university. So if we can stop that now, we can stop generational effects from the family, the community, all that,” said Whitehouse.

And while he said his organization had come a long way in recent years, it wasn’t always the case.

“We’ve seen a big change in the environment, stigmas being reduced. We have more services on campus, we’re providing sober events,” said Whitehouse.

The change in attitude was a welcome change to at least one student, Kellie Williams, who noted “it’s really important to get people at the college age level to take naloxone training and to really just understand the intersectionality of it all.”

With nearly 1,500 overdose deaths in W.Va. statewide last year however, the road to collective recovery remained a long one on Wednesday.