NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Narcan: A life saving medicine

Nationally, there are Fifty Thousand deaths a year caused by opioid overdoses, while another Ten Million people misuse them, according to

 This epidemic that began in the United States in the 1990s, according to, and has affected many people and has caused heart break for many families with loved ones who struggle with addiction.  

In the event of an overdose, a civilian can administer Narcan. Narcan is a lifesaving drug that can reverse the effect of an opioid overdose by latching onto the same receptors in a person’s brain and blocking the opioids’ access. 

This drug, medically known as Naloxone, provides temporary help in an emergency. It gives users a second chance to change and to seek treatment, according to

Narcan is extremely important for more people to know about. One can never predict when an emergency will present itself. With the many, many, deaths caused by opioid abuse, more people carrying and knowing how to use Narcan could significantly drop these rates.  

Despite its importance, speaking to people at NECC has shown that some people have never even heard of Narcan before. An early college student, Mia Swinson said, “It’s some kind of drug, right? I don’tknow what it does though.”  

Another student at NECC, Xavier Patnaude, made a similar statement. “I have no idea what that is,” he replied when asked about Narcan and its uses. 

While a number of students expressed they did know of it, the majority answered that they had not. 

Narcan training and awareness is important because, as put beautifully by NECC alumni, S. Orio, “Narcan gives the average person an opportunity to save lives – it is a simple and easy process that could save someone’s life.” 

NECC held a Narcan training seminar on Tuesday, Nov. 14th from 12:30 to 1:30 PM in Lecture Hall A of the John Spurk building. 

The training is a partnership between NECC, Mass General Brigham, and the Merrimack Valley Bridge Clinic. It was meant to be an hour of both discussion and training for harm reduction and the administration of Narcan in the case of an overdose, according to a calendar listing about the event. 

Everyone who attended the event was to leave with naloxone kits and be well prepared to use them in case of emergency, as well as being able to perform rescue breathing, according to a calendar listing for the event.