Naloxone training teaches students how to save a life

You see someone overdosing in public. Do you know how to keep them until first responders arrive?

Friday a Community Overdose Prevention instructor led a Naloxone Training event, where attendees learned how and when to administer the medication— commonly known by the brand name —Narcan, to reverse an opioid overdose. 

Attendees received a free Naloxone kit with three doses and learned how and where to get more at Naloxone access points in the community. This event was free and open to the public in Ostrander Auditorium.

The event, put on by the Minnesota State University Women’s Center which partnered with Christian Family Solutions (a Naloxone Access Point in Mankato), was organized by graduate students Ashley Jaxel, BriShaun Kearns and Kim Lohse among others, and led by community trainer Stephanie Jordan. 

According to Lohse (who uses they/them pronouns), they and some of their peers took the training through Stephanie prior to organizing this event. Part of the training was focused on teaching about opioids like fentanyl being laced in other drugs, leading to unintentional overdoses from Xanax, cocaine and THC cartridges, as well as Xylazine, known by the colloquial “Tranq,” which is growing in popularity in the region, according to Jordan.

Lohse said it is alarming to hear about fentanyl being found in illegal THC cartridges, which are “very common,” due to their portability.

“I think we are at an age where people are particularly vulnerable to trying new substances,” Kearns said. “We know that young adults are kind of in an age where they are alone, trying new things and substances. This region has a lot of substances that may knowingly or unknowingly have fentanyl in them, and I think that is why this training is pertinent to this community.”

Jordan said using drugs that do not cause opioid overdose symptoms can still lead to a need for Naloxone because they can be laced with fentanyl.

“If you come into a situation and you think this person only uses cocaine or only uses methamphetamine but you’re seeing all the symptoms that we’re talking about right now, give them Naloxone. You’re not going to cause their situation to be any worse than it already is, and chances are pretty high the overdose is caused by fentanyl and not the other substance,” Jordan said.

Fatal opioid overdoses increased in Minnesota by 43% from 2020 to 2021, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Bystanders can help prevent these deaths if Naloxone is administered in time.

First-year students Emily Hodge and Elizabeth Flatum were in attendance.

“I loved the training,” Flatum said. “I knew some information beforehand, but not much.”

Hodge said she now feels “more confident” with the idea of administering the medication to someone. 

“I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% certain, but definitely more confident on how to do it,” She said.

The kits are packaged in a brown, resealable pouch with a QR code for a video tutorial on how to administer Naloxone, as well as information about the Steve Rummler HOPE Network, a nonprofit organization that assembled and provided the kits. Inside are three sealed syringes and three one-milliliter, single dose vials of Naloxone. There are also latex gloves, alcohol prep pads, a plastic face shield to aid in sanitary rescue breathing and printed instructions with diagrams.

Christian Family Solutions will provide overdose response kits and fentanyl substance test strips during their business hours without asking for names. Narcan nasal spray was approved by the FDA in 2023 but supply is limited due to product shortage.

The kit’s instructions identify overdose signs as “slow or shallow breathing,” gasping or “weird snoring” when sleeping, change to pale, blue or gray tone in skin, “slow heartbeat, low blood pressure,” and not waking up or responding to rubbing knuckles on their sternum.

Header Photo: Attendees at the Naloxone training event received a free naloxone kit with three doses. The event was free and open to the public in Ostrander. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Carly Bahr at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.