CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A life-saving medicine is more accessible on the University of Illinois campus now thanks to the Illinois Department of Human Services.
In a Massmail to the campus community, Awais Vaid, Director of McKinley Health Center, said an IDPH distribution program is putting NARCAN at several campus locations to treat an opioid overdose. Vaid said that the U of I campus has not had a reported overdose recently, but the broader Champaign-Urbana community has.
In a proactive effort, McKinley is coordinating efforts with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District to offer NARCAN at campus locations. These locations include McKinley’s pharmacy, the Illini Union (in the Computer Lab and Student Space on the lower level) and Ikenberry Commons (in a vending machine located in the mail room of the Student Dining & Residential Programs Building).
Students who know someone who uses opioids are suggested to keep a dose on hand in the event of an overdose. Supplies are limited, with one dose per student per semester, and students are advised to request a dose only if they feel it may be used.
NARCAN can be administered by anyone, including people who are not medical professionals. The doses will come with instructions and educational information about preventing and treating overdoses.
The medicine is not meant to be a treatment for opioid use disorder. Anyone who struggles with substance use or who knows someone who struggles is advised to call the state’s helpline at 833-234-6343, text “HELP” to 833234 or visit the helpline’s website.