Kennesaw State University
Excerpt from the article Topography of Recovery in Kennesaw State University Magazine
More than 200 people at Kennesaw State University have received a specific type of training, but it’s been put into practice only four times. However, all four of those occasions saved a life.
Kennesaw State’s nationally recognized Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery (CYAAR) trains members of the University community to administer naloxone, an antidote for heroin and other opioid overdoses. The goal is to have as many people as possible prepared to administer a life-saving nasal spray dose of naloxone, in light of the dramatic rise in opioid related overdoses and deaths in the United States. “We really are trying to stay progressive and cutting-edge because a disproportionate number of people are overdosing and dying in our country,” CYAAR Director Teresa Johnston said. “It’s a challenge to prepare and equip people in the event that they can help somebody.” Three years ago, KSU police became the first university police department in Georgia to carry naloxone. The naloxone training given to those 40 officers has since expanded to about 170 other people at the University, including faculty, staff, resident assistants and other students. Pocket-sized naloxone kits, containing a pre-packaged nasal spray, are available to anyone who has received the training and also are carried by the Department of Residence Life on-call staff every night on Kennesaw State’s two campuses. Along with the naloxone kits the CYAAR is able to purchase at an affordable price, WellStar Health System donated 100 kits. “It’s absolutely critical to get these kits in people’s hands,” said Lindsay Montgomery, the CYAAR’s peer education coordinator and trainer. “We’re not going to cure addiction with naloxone kits, but we can save a life, if it comes to that.”
Written by Paul Floeckher