Just like first responders, campus police at both University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University now carry the life-saving drug naloxone, that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Each officer, at both universities, is now equipped with the nasal spray version of naloxone. Dispatchers also have access to naloxone.
- Universities in Nova Scotia stocking campuses with naloxone kits
- Western students trained to treat opioid overdoses
Twenty officers at the University of Waterloo were trained on how to safely administer naloxone by the university's school of public health at the end of November.
"As a university we are not immune to societal problems," Matthew Grant, director of communications at UW told CBC News. "This is an issue that we as a community have been dealing with."
Though the university has not yet had any opioid overdoses, equipping campus police with naloxone was the responsible thing to do, Grant said.
At Laurier, a total of 26 special constables —17 at the Waterloo campus and nine at the Brantford campus — were trained to administer naloxone in the fall.
"The university as a whole and our special constables in particular have a mandate to keep all members of the community secure," Kevin Crowley, director of communications and public affairs at Laurier told CBC News.
"It's a proactive measure we hope we don't have to use, but our special constable and nurses are prepared to use it if needed."
The Ontario division of the Canadian Mental Health Association has also taken steps in preparing communities for opioid-related emergencies as it launched an online tool kit for people to access.
Reducing Harms: Recognizing and Responding to Opioid Overdoses in Your Organization provides the public with information on how to use naloxone in a opioid-related emergency, symptoms of an opioid overdose and information about supporting employees after an opioid emergency.