Opioid Avengers: Columbia Students Save Four Lives With Naloxone

Campus overdose prevention programs have trained more than 2,500 students, employees and community members to recognize the signs of an emergency and intervene.

Editor's note:

Reposted from Columbia News.

Carla Cantor
February 21, 2020

The students were from different schools at Columbia University, traveling in different areas of the city. They didn’t know each other. But all recently found themselves in the same situation: bystanders staring at someone who has passed out, asking themselves: Do I grab for the naloxone I’ve just learned how to use and step in?

The four students—from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, the School of General Studies and two from the from School of Nursing—in separate incidents intervened and saved a life with a dose of nasal spray from naloxone kits they received at opioid overdose prevention training sessions at Columbia. 

Sonalee Rau was on her way to meet friends for a day of apple picking in upstate New York this fall. She was about to enter the Metro-North Train Station at 125th Street in East Harlem when she saw a small group surrounding a man lying unconscious on the sidewalk.

“I heard a woman yell, ‘I think it’s an overdose,’” said Rau, a master’s student in health policy and management at the Mailman School. “The naloxone kit I’d been carrying for three weeks was hooked to my purse. I knew there wasn’t much time.”

Read the full article on Columbia News.