The death of a 24-year-old University of North Texas student from opioid overdose prompted a call for help in teaching North Texas-area faculty, staff, students and community members how to use Narcan, a medication that reverses overdoses.
The student, Holden Stucky, was the son of Alan Stucky, UNT System vice chancellor and general counsel.
Answering that call was Lisa Cleveland, Ph.D., RN, PNP, FAAN, from UT Health San Antonio’s School of Nursing. Dr. Cleveland and her team went to the UNT Health Science Center on Jan. 28 to provide 9,000 doses of Narcan nasal spray. Students there led a training on how to administer the medication.
Also attending the training was Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, principal deputy assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Holden died in 2017 after receiving opioids to treat pain from a longboarding accident. His father, Alan, now carries Narcan wherever he goes, so he can administer the drug to someone at risk of overdosing.
Dr. Cleveland does the same.
“I always keep a dose in my purse. You never know when you may need it,” said Dr. Cleveland, also a mother of a college-age son.
Dr. Cleveland, an associate professor, completed her post-doctoral training at UNT. She has received millions of dollars from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to manage Narcan training and to distribute the medication in communities throughout Texas. Training and Narcan can be obtained through the program’s website.