Overdose Prevention Training Equips Employees and Students to Save Lives

A naloxone opioid overdose prevention kit is pictured with nasal spray and medical gloves

As a result of a partnership between SLC Student Wellness and Accessibility (SWA) and Mark Barnes of Respect Rx Pharmacy (RRP) and, more than 1,600 SLC students and employees have received potentially life-saving overdose prevention training.

With opioid consumption and overdoses having reached record levels in Canada, the Student Wellness team and RRP partnered in early 2021 to continually equip SLC Security and Residence teams with Naloxone kits and deliver overdose prevention and Naloxone training to the SLC community at workshops and events such as LCC, Student Wellness groups, Residence move-in day, and Student Services Fairs. The training aimed to increase participants’ awareness of opioid overdose statistics in our local communities, local drug use trends, and the unexpected victims of opioid overdose, as well as provide participants with the ability to recognize overdose risk factors, identify an opioid overdose, and use Naloxone to prevent deaths from overdose. Participants were able to receive a free Naloxone kit.

Through outreach to program coordinators and faculty between February and April 2022, SWA and RRP trained more than 800 students in overdose prevention through 30 virtual and in person workshops for class groups in many of the College’s programs.

Music and Digital Media (MDM) Professor and Program Coordinator Mark Bergin made the overdose prevention and naloxone training offered by SWA and RRP mandatory for graduating MDM students. “Not only are graduating students going out into a world where they can share their practical skills in their chosen field, they are living in a world with many problems. Giving them the skills to deal with an opioid overdose and the naloxone kit that could save a life was an important part of preparing them for the future. Some students even asked if they could bring a friend to the workshop,” he explained. “The opioid crisis is not something that’s ‘out there’ or that happens to ‘other people.’ I carry a Naxolone kit in my backpack at all times. This is an issue that can strike close to home in an unexpected manner.  This can happen to anyone anywhere. It’s not delineated by culture or social hierarchy.”

A student anonymously provided this feedback: “The presentation that Mark Barnes [of RRP] put together was exceptional and one of my favourite presentations that I have attended, either at school or privately. I would recommend this Naloxone and respectful presentation to others, but I cannot wait to get my free kit to carry with me and to spread the word. Invaluable information to have!”

In March, the Respect Rx Pharmacy - SLC Perseverance Bursary was developed, to be awarded to a student at any campus who has experienced trauma, mental health distress, or addiction and who can demonstrate financial need and who, despite these struggles, continues to persevere and maintain a satisfactory academic standing in their program.

Learn more about Mark Barnes, Respect Rx Pharmacy (RRP) and, and connect with Student Wellness and Accessibility at to learn more about overdose prevention and Naloxone training.

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