Campus Announcements

Safety and Harm Reduction at Reed: Naloxone to Narcan Transition

In response to the national opiate epidemic, Reed’s community safety officers (CSOs) began to carry Naloxone auto-injectors in their first aid kits in 2014. Naloxone can reverse potentially fatal opiate overdoses, enabling CSOs to provide life-saving measures while awaiting backup from medical first responders. This community-based program is the result of a collaborative effort between Reed’s department of community safety (CS) and health & counseling center (HCC), this partnership set the stage for an expanded approach to effective harm-reduction at Reed. 


In Spring 2018, staff from CS, the HCC, student life, residence life, environmental health & safety (EHS), and students working as peer health advocates (PHAs) collaborated to secure a donation of Naloxone that allowed Reed to expand the program to residence halls and many other facilities. This expansion was implemented in fall 2018 with the installation of Naloxone auto-injectors around campus. The college is committed to continuing this program as one part of our overall strategy to support the safety of our campus community.


After assessing the current program, we have made the decision to transition from the Naloxone auto-injectors, which are expiring this fall, to Narcan nasal spray for use in situations of suspected opiate overdose. The nasal spray is considered equally effective to other delivery options and has been available to the public for some time. The nasal spray devices are simple to use, have a similar shelf life as the auto-injectors, and are much more cost-effective. A “Quick Start” instruction guide will be included with each Overdose Emergency Kit and each individual dose has instructions, as well. The transition from Naloxone to Narcan will be complete by September 30, 2019.


While the medication may continue to be effective beyond the printed expiration date, our director of medical services recommends replacing expired doses with current ones as quickly as possible. Expired doses may be brought to 28 West for drop-off and disposal.



Any Reed faculty, staff, and students who would like more information about the Narcan nasal spray, including information on usage, may contact the following people or offices:


  • Community safety. Please come to 28 West or contact a CSO on campus for assistance. CS staff are able to orient community members to the nasal spray and review basics for identifying a breathing emergency and how to call for help


  • Health & counseling center. Please call 503-777-7281 for information on the use of Narcan


  • Ryan Otto, Reed student and students for sensible drug policy (SSDP) representative. Ryan has experience in the Portland community related to the use of the Narcan nasal spray and can coordinate with individuals and groups for training


  • Residence Life will continue to support the program through educational outreach in the residence halls


Reed is committed to promoting the safest possible community, and we welcome your input and questions.


Thank you.


Gary Granger, Director of Community Safety (, 503-517-5355)


Timothie Rochon, Director of Medical Services (, 503-517-7831)


Ryan Otto, Student/SSDP Representative (, 720/545-4570)


Amy Schuckman, Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life (, 503-517-7834)

Submitted by Robin Tovey.
Posted on Sep 26, 2019


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Questions may be directed to Robin Tovey, communications manager. Announcements do not represent the views of Reed College.