VA Tech Installs Overdose Kits in All Residence Halls

Virginia Tech has recently completed the installation of ONEbox kits in all residence halls. The response kits contains naloxone, the temporary opioid reversal spray also known by the brand name Narcan, and allow anyone to intervene to save a life in case of an opioid overdose.

Since 2019, the Hokie Wellness REVIVE! program has led outreach and training efforts to prevent opioid overdose, highlighting the growing trend that fentanyl is often found in unexpected substances, such as cannabis and fake prescription pills.

Ashley LeDuc, associate director of Hokie Wellness, has been a driving force behind the ONEbox program at Virginia Tech.

“Our university community prioritizes keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe,” said LeDuc. “ONEbox has allowed us to expand our opioid response reach from training hundreds of community members each year. Now, thousands of our students, faculty, and staff have access to naloxone.”

As part of Hokie Wellness’ mission to promote the health and well-being of all Virginia Tech students, the ONEbox initiative ensures that the campus community is empowered and equipped to reduce potential harm from substance misuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that among over 2,000 incidents of adolescent overdose deaths in the United States from July 2019–December 2021, two-thirds had bystanders nearby, pointing to the potential for more widespread naloxone preparation to save lives.

Located next to automated external defibrillator (AED) units and Stop the Bleed kits in residence halls, each ONEbox contains two doses of naloxone, a face shield, gloves, and wipes. When someone opens a ONEbox to respond to an emergency, a video will automatically start playing, providing directions on how to intervene.

Individuals can also scan a QR code inside to open an emergency response video on their phones. This way, they can bring the naloxone and protective equipment to the site of the emergency and have step-by-step guidance for the intervention process.

The video is available in English or Spanish and includes written cues. After determining that someone may be experiencing an overdose, the kit user is prompted to call 911 for operator support alongside the video.

LeDuc said naloxone is non-addictive and has very few side effects. The Virginia Department of Health website has more information about its safety. The goal of ONEbox is to promote safety and prevent harm, making a positive impact on the community.

“Whether someone comes into contact with an opioid accidentally or intentionally, ONEbox empowers our students to intervene and ultimately save someone’s life,” said LeDuc.

While ONEbox kits are easy to use, as a further preparedness measure, all Residential Well-being student leaders have been trained in naloxone administration.

“It makes me feel more valuable to our community to know that we have the knowledge and resources to save a life,” said Residential Well-being Student Leader Xela Jones. “There’s comfort in knowing that emergencies can be prevented.”

Besides their emergency purpose, having the ONEbox kits on campus encourages conversations about substance use. This can help lower stigmas associated with the topic, leading to open dialogue about student safety and risk prevention.

“While the primary goal of the ONEbox is to save someone’s life,” said LeDuc, “we are ultimately going to see the most impact when it comes to awareness and education.”

ONEbox kits are currently located in all residence halls, including fraternity and sorority housing. Hokie Wellness is working with Recreational Sports to have them available in fitness spaces and is exploring other ways to expand the program.

For any students struggling with substance use or misuse, Hokie Wellness offers resources and support such as free individual consultations for students, recovery peer support groups, and a range of mental health resources though Cook Counseling Center.

By Margaret Kovick

Other helpful resources: 

The Virginia Tech Recovery Community

Substance use:
Party Positive
Individual Consultations

General well-being resources:
TimelyCare Virtual Heath Service

Cook Counseling Center
Schiffert Health Center
Dean of Students Office

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