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C26. Opioids and our Community. Stop the Stigma. Save a Life. Collaboration to Educate University Campus Students to Identify and Intervene for an Opioid Overdose

About The Event

  • Cost: Free
  • Total Slot: 0
  • Booked Slot: 0

This event has expired

Learner category:

  • Novice Level

Learning objectives:

  • Participants will be able to state three barriers for implementing harm reduction and intranasal naloxone
    training on a university campus
  • Participants will be able to describe three strategies that university administration can incorporate to improve
    outcomes for individuals with a substance use disorder


Problem: Young adults between the ages of 18-25 are at an increased risk for opioid misuse. Stigma and misunderstanding campus policies have been shown to be barriers to disclosure of substance use and substance use disorder (SUD).
Evidence Appraisal: There has been a rise in the use of opiates, cross contamination of non-opioid drugs with fentanyl, and unintended opioid overdoses among college students. There is an increased need to educate students about prevention, recognition, and treatment for opioid overdose.
Implementation Strategies: The physiology of addiction, impact of stigma, recovery focused language, recognizing an opioid overdose, administration of intranasal naloxone, harm reduction, and campus and community resources were presented by nurses, campus police, and community members. Targeted groups included residential assistants, and sorority and fraternity leaders. Attendees were provided with campus and community resources in the form of refrigerator magnets, wallet cards, and handouts.
Evaluation: Students reported an appreciation and need for the information but voiced concern regarding a campus policy that appeared to be in conflict with information provided. Presenters worked with administration to revise the medical amnesty policy to revise language that was being misinterpreted by students. There was an increase in the number of students requesting the presentation for their dormitory floor, sorority or fraternity.
Lessons Learned: Focus groups should be held in advance with key stakeholder students to understand barriers and facilitators to implementing the presentation strategies. Acting as a liaison between students and residential directors and administration was critical to allow for open communication and understanding.

Speaker Bio

Kimberly Dion PhD, RN, CNE, CARN is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing. Her research focuses on persons with a substance use disorder, a population she has worked with for 20 years. She is a harm reductionist and certified naloxone train the trainer for Massachusetts. She performs educational sessions on reducing stigma toward those with substance use disorder, harm reduction practice, and recognition of an opioid overdose.
Ann Becker, DNP, RN is the Public Health Nurse for the University Health Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Cherry Sullivan, MPH is the Program Coordinator for Hampshire HOPE, Center for Prevention and Community Engagement for the City of Northampton Health Department

Our Speakers

Ann Becker
Cherry Sullivan
Kimberly Dion
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