UW Campus Promotes Life-Saving Opioid Overdose Drug

UW-Madison Takes Steps To Expand Access To Drug That Reverses Overdoses Of Narcotics

A naloxone nasal injector, the life-saving opioid overdose antidote. New state law will make the drug easier to access. John Minchillo/ AP Photo

A new law in Wisconsin aimed at prescription drug and heroin abuse allows pharmacies to provide naloxone, the life-saving antidote, without a prescription. It’s one of many recent laws looking to combat opioid addiction in Wisconsin.

University Health Services on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus is partnering with Walgreens to promote access for students wanting to purchase the drug.

“The rate of misuse of opioids and abuse among college student is actually much less than other young adults their age, (but) it’s not zero,” said Sarah Van Orman, executive director of UHS. “We do know that we have students who misuse opioids and a handful that have opioid addiction issues.”

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In terms of demographics, 18 to 25-year-olds report the highest use of nonmedical prescription painkillers, according to state health officials. Use among college students is lower, between 3 and 5 percent, Van Orman said.

Students seeking naloxone at a pharmacy will be instructed how to use the medication. UHS also plans to send staff psychologists into the community to train student organizations on the proper use of naloxone.