BEAVER, WV (WVNS)– A new tool in the fight to combat the opioid epidemic is coming to one school in the southern part of the state. 

New River Community and Technical College partnered with the West Virginia Drug Overdose Institute to install opioid overdose rescue kits on every floor in every building within the college. The new partnership provides more than a dozen “Naloxboxes” to the college. Each box contains personal protective equipment, two doses of Narcan, and step-by-step instructions on how to administer the drug and save a life when a person is overdosing on opioids.

President of New River CTC, Dr. Bonny Copenhaver said the new additions to the college are necessary when it comes to student safety. 

“We usually define emergencies as fire or heart attack and so we have fire extinguishers we have AED machines on campus and we just see this as another one of those preventative measures that you have,” Dr. Copenhaver said.

She added that combating the opioid epidemic starts with ending the stigma against addicts and making sure access to treatment and life-saving intervention methods like the Naloxboxes are readily available, especially here in the mountain state.

“We know that this is a problem throughout the community for all the nine counties that we serve,” Dr. Copenhaver added.

The school is the first in the state to have these life-saving tools in every building. Dr. Copenhaver said showing the school is an ally for those fighting addiction is key when it comes to higher education and it is the job of educators to help their students improve all aspects of their lives.

“We have to love the students we have,” she said. “This is, I think part of demonstrating that.  It is something that impacts our students, it impacts our employees most likely as well.”

The college plans to have the boxes installed and ready to use by the end of the month.