First-ever NaloxBox installed at IUPUI


What are the negative aspects of having Naloxone on hand? There aren't any. Just ask Annika Whitlock.

The IUPUI graduate student recently helped save a life by having Naloxone in her car's center console. She was going to a doctor's appointment downtown and noticed a man sitting on the sidewalk who seemed to be under the influence but who was conscious and moving around.

A few minutes later, she noticed a person on a bicycle had stopped and tapped the man on the shoulder. He didn't respond.

Whitlock noticed the man's face turning a greyish color and his lips turning blue. She grabbed the Naloxone and jumped out of the car. Within a few minutes of the Naloxone being administered, the man's breathing improved, and he was regaining consciousness.

"It was truly all of the right people in the right place at the right time," Whitlock said.

Someone else had stopped to perform CPR, someone called 911 and nurses in the doctor's office had also come outside to help when the ambulance arrived.

"It was really nice that there just happened to be a bunch of people around who were committed and inspired to helping," Whitlock said. "Everyone was also surprised that I even had the Naloxone on hand. I think this situation helped them realize how important it is to have."

Naloxone doesn't take up a lot of space, and if it's administered to someone who doesn't need it, it won't hurt them. If someone does need it, it can save their life.

Naloxone, the drug in Narcan nasal spray, is a medication approved to reverse overdose by opioids (e.g., heroin, fentanyl, Vicodin, OxyContin, morphine), and it blocks the toxic effects of the overdose. Signs of an opioid overdose include unresponsiveness or unconsciousness; slow, shallow or irregular breathing; cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin; fingernails or lips turning blue or purple.

A few days after this occurred, IUPUI was in the process of installing the NaloxBox, a Naloxone opioid rescue kit, on campus. It gives 24/7 access to Narcan nasal spray and is refilled and monitored by Health and Wellness Promotion.

The box is located in the Vermont St. parking garage near the first floor pay station by the Campus Center. It's unlocked, and Narcan nasal spray kits are free to take thanks to a partnership between the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction and Overdose Lifeline, Inc.

Whitlock received her bachelor's degree in health sciences from the School of Health and Human Sciences in Dec. 2021, and she's set to finish her master's degree in public health from the Fairbanks School of Public Health in Aug. 2023. She also has worked for Health and Wellness Promotion since Jan. 2022, and looks to continue working in health education and health promotion.

"I can link a lot of what I've learned back to my part-time job with Health and Wellness Promotion, and my experience has definitely influenced that I want to continue this work," Whitlock said.

Questions about the NaloxBox can be sent to