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Harvard students bring overdose-reversing drug to Red Line stations

FILE – The overdose-reversal drug Narcan is displayed during training for employees of the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), Dec. 4, 2018, in Philadelphia. The death of a Connecticut seventh grader from an apparent fentanyl overdose has renewed calls for schools to carry the opioid antidote naloxone. The 13-year-old student in Hartford died Saturday after falling ill in school two days earlier. The school did not have naloxone, which is known by the brand name Narcan. But now city officials are vowing to put it in all schools. Fatal overdoses among young people in the U.S. have been increasing amid the opioid epidemic but remain relatively uncommon.

If you’re at a Red Line station waiting for the train, you may notice something new: boxes of the opioid overdose-reversal drug Narcan.

The idea came from a group of Harvard students, who collaborated with state government on a program to provide the life-saving drug at every MBTA Red Line station. The latest state budget set aside $95,000 for the effort.

One of the students involved, Sanjeev Kohli, was compelled to embark on this project after witnessing a 19-year-old overdose at a homeless shelter where he volunteered. Because the shelter had Narcan, the person survived.

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Matt Rourke – AP
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Kana Ruhalter is the associate producer of GBH’s All Things Considered.