Students Trained to Respond to Overdoses

An interior-facing brick façade of Sterling Law Building with multiple pitched rooflines and stone-trimmed, leaded glass windows against a dark blue sky

The Addiction Medicine Collaborative, in partnership with the Yale Health Law and Policy Society, and the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy, hosted an overdose response training on April 17. The event showed students how to react in an emergency that happens regularly in the U.S., where opioid overdoses cause tens of thousands of deaths each year.

Carson Ferrara YSPH ’25 and David Han YSM ’27 led the training, showing students how to respond to an opioid overdose. Students were given free Narcan, also known as naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose, to use in case of such emergencies. Ferrara and Han taught participants how to identify the warning signs of an overdose, how to administer the treatment, and the importance of engaging with emergency medical services.

The group also discussed Good Samaritan Laws, which provide immunity from prosecution for drug possession to anyone who seeks medical assistance in the event of a drug overdose. Law students raised the issue that people who are undocumented or who have already been engaged with the criminal justice system be reluctant to engage with first responders in these situations.

The Addiction Medicine Collaborative, an interdisciplinary student organization among the Yale health professional schools, hopes to maintain its partnership with the Solomon Center beyond this event. The organization encouraged interested students to join its group on Yale Connect for opportunities to engage in harm reduction work and addiction medicine.