BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Ferris State University says Narcan is now available on its campus.
Ferris State announced Tuesday that Narcan dispensers have been placed on campus, at the Big Rapids Community Library and at Reed City’s Osceola County Health Department office.
Narcan is the brand name delivery system for opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.
The dispensers were once newspaper sales boxes, the university said. They were placed by the federally-funded Central Michigan Recovery and Education Network, a program at Ferris State.
“Narcan saves lives, which is so necessary due to the rise of opioid use,” CMREN Project Director Gail Bullard said in a statement. “Our area is not immune and Naloxone being readily available is essential.”
Federal grant funding totaling $1.2 million is supporting the program. The state is providing the Narcan nasal spray for free.
“Place it in the person’s nostril and push the plunger: it’s that easy,” Bullard explained how Narcan works. “And if someone is not suffering from an opioid overdose, it won’t hurt them.”
The program provides a new purpose for the newspaper boxes, which Bullard said work well as Narcan dispensers.
“They’re a small unit, so they’re easy for people to find a place to put them versus a very large vending machine option,” Bullard said. “We were made aware of them from other groups across the nation that are using them and we found a vendor actually out of Texas that was repurposing them.”
The program is planning to put smaller wall-mounted units near AEDs on campus.
Bullard says increasing availability of naloxone has already made an impact in combating overdoses.
“When we’ve done in-person distribution of them on campus and in the communities, in both places, we’ve had people tell us, ‘Thank you,’ they need this, they know people who need this,” Bullard said.