About 40 students at the University of Alaska Anchorage had a busy night trying to save lives. The students put together 500 Narcan kits. Narcan is a lifesaving drug that helps keep people from dying while overdosing.

One student, who has received Narcan training at a job in Anchorage, says she was happy to help out.

"One of our clients just broke down in tears one day and was saying she wished she had knowledge of these kits or had a kit a few years ago when her father passed away from an opioid overdose. And so it's those personal stories that really, really hit home and make us all the more motivated to get involved with projects like this," said the student.

"Education. Education. Education. We kind of got away from that. Our kids need to know; what are the dangers of drugs? What are the drugs out there, and then what they can do," said Andy Jones, the Director for the Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention.

Kara Nelson applauded the efforts of UAA students. Nelson is a recovering addict who has been in and out of jail for substance abuse. She is now going on seven-and-a-half years of being clean. She is the director of Haven House in Juneau which is a recovery residence for women after being incarcerated. She also pushed for legislation that allowed Narcan in Alaska.  

"To have them (Narcan kits) in the hands in every community; every Alaskan is so crucial right now. The only side effect of Narcan is life," said Nelson.

Forty of those 500 Narcan kits put together by students will stay on the UAA campus. The rest will be distributed to healthcare groups and individuals all over Alaska.

Anyone interested in a free Narcan kit can visit: www.opioid.alaska.gov. Click on the "Overdose reversal drug (Narcan) availability" section on the right side of the screen. From there scroll down to information on "Project HOPE."

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