Provision of Naloxone and Opioid Overdose Education on a Private University Campus

Publication Date

Spring 5-29-2024

Item Type


Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Our nursing leadership group partnered with the university’s security office and health clinic to address the campus’ lack of resources related to naloxone supply and knowledge deficit surrounding opioid use and overdose symptoms. Our main goal was to conduct a feasibility assessment to provide a recommendation on the best route of naloxone supply and distribution for this campus. Our secondary goal was increasing campus education regarding opioid use and overdose symptoms for the agency.


Our population included the students, staff, and faculty of a private, urban, Christian university in Seattle, located in King County, Washington (WA). In 2022, King County had a rate of 34.9 opioid related overdose deaths per 100,000 residents per year (King County, 2024), compared to a Washington state average of 26.3 opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 residents the same year (Addictions, Drug, and Alcohol Institute, 2023). Due to their location, members of this community had health needs of increased education on recognition and response to opioid overdoses, and increased access to opioid overdose rescue medications (i.e. naloxone).

Furthermore, recent passage of Washington state House Bill 2112 (HB 2112) dictates the need for provision of opioid overdose medications on public and private campuses, as well as educational materials and programs to educate faculty, staff, and student populations on opioid risks and overdose treatment (Washington State Legislature, 2024). This bill goes into effect June 6, 2024. Our project helped this community progress in meeting these recent legal requirements.

Activities and Rationale

To address the lack of naloxone supply on campus, we created a feasibility assessment. This included contacting other Washington state higher education facilities for information on strategies they used to create their own distribution programs; contacting campus stakeholders; performing site and community assessments; and researching state laws and programs, grants, costs, and implications of different distribution methods. We then synthesized this information into a cohesive feasibility assessment with recommendations, which we provided to the agency. Relevant sections included problem and diagnosis identification; background and statistical information for the community; legal implications and legislative action on opioids in Washington state; identification of stakeholders on campus and their perceived stances on naloxone distribution on campus; implementation options based on naloxone availability, funding, and distribution methods; analysis and adaptations from other higher education facilities in Washington; sustainability of maintaining the project; educational resources needed to promote awareness and ensure legal compliance with laws; recommendations; and limitations of our scope.

The second goal aimed to increase the number of campus community members who could identify signs and symptoms of opioid overdose, as well as teach back the correct steps in response to an overdose. Our efforts to develop and advertise education complied with HB 2112 to provide opioid overdose education. While numerous educational resources already exist, we adapted and synthesized education on opioids and naloxone to fit the specific requests of the agency and engage the interests of our target audience. The bulk of our information for our educational materials was sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2023) and the Cleveland Clinic (2023).

Posters outlining the steps to respond to an overdose were crafted and distributed across three high-traffic buildings on campus. Additionally, our team published a statement in the campus newsletter for display in every bathroom stall across campus. The statement featured a QR code that linked campus community members to a more comprehensive slideshow covering topics such as what is an opioid, the Good Samaritan law, and effective strategies for responding to an opioid overdose. To target the student population, we designed wallet-sized cards that synthesized the information to respond to an overdose, questions aimed at addressing potential barriers for individuals to respond in the event of an overdose, and a QR code to the Washington state naloxone ordering form. We partnered with health services at the university to create a webpage emphasizing the significance of the opioid crisis in King County along with frequently asked questions on opioids, overdoses, and naloxone. To roll out our education, we hosted a table outside the entrance of the university dining hall. We hosted our event over lunch hours to expand our capacity to educate and reach a wider portion of the student body at the university. To engage with the community, our team created a trivia board with questions that functioned to assess the pre-existing knowledge of the community. In addition to the trivia engagement activity, we acquired a mannequin from the health sciences building to serve as a platform for individuals to practice using naloxone, utilizing an empty naloxone applicator. We compiled our educational materials to serve as resources for people and printed wallet cards for distribution.


The primary outcome was a complete feasibility assessment that contained a detailed analysis of the essential components to launch and sustain a naloxone distribution program tailored to this campus. Moreover, our team, alongside campus health services, successfully secured an interview with the WA Department of Health (WA DOH). They have committed to supplying naloxone to the campus starting June of 2024.

The secondary goal was to enhance knowledge about recognizing and responding to an opioid overdose. To achieve our desired outcome, our team developed an interactive educational session focused on understanding opioids, recognizing manifestations of an opioid overdose, and knowing how to respond when encountering one. In addition, we provided education material through the campus newsletter, posters, and the university webpage.


The agency identified the campus' need for naloxone resources and increased awareness regarding opioid use and overdose. Our team successfully implemented interventions to meet these needs. The primary intervention involved conducting a feasibility assessment to evaluate the viability of acquiring a sustainable naloxone supply for the campus. Additionally, this project secured a supply of naloxone through the WA DOH. The secondary intervention focused on education to address the knowledge deficit on campus. This initiative used various methods including interactive modules, posters, the campus webpage, newsletters, and a compilation of resources with more information. All educational materials provided information on recognizing overdose symptoms, how to respond to an overdose, effective communication with first responders, and where to access additional resources.

Although we had successful outcomes, we also encountered certain limitations. Long term naloxone supply through the WA DOH depends on state funding, which is not guaranteed.

Our team faced challenges in measuring the effectiveness of our educational interventions due to legal constraints associated with research and the time frame of our project. Additionally, much of our educational outreach targeted students. Future interventions should be aimed at staff and faculty.


Addictions, Drug, and Alcohol Institute. (2023). Opioid trends across Washington state. University of Washington.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, January 26). Frequently asked questions about naloxone. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cleveland Clinic. (2023, January 4). Opioid overdose.

King County. (2024). Overdose deaths.

Washington State Legislature. (2024). HB 2112 - 2023-24.

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