PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — When Michael Aubin showed up at Collier Point Park on Aug. 15, he only expected to sit by the water to relax.
Little did he know, Aubin was at the right place at the right time.
“Somebody started screaming for help, stating that their friend was dying from an overdose and literally screamed out loud, ‘does anybody have any Narcan?'” Aubin recalled.
Narcan is a brand of naloxone, an overdose antidote.
Two days earlier, Aubin visited a CVS Pharmacy in Cranston, where he met University of Rhode Island pharmacy students Jacob Derby and Elliana Spagnolo. The pair were hosting a event as part of URI’s Community First Responder program, handing out free Narcan and explaining to visitors how to identify an individual experiencing an overdose.
They gave Aubin two boxes, each containing two doses.
Equipped with that Narcan, Aubin sprung into action at the Providence park, administering one dose to the individual suffering from an overdose. Aubin found a police officer at the park, who then administered a second dose from Aubin’s kit.
“About 30 seconds after that, the individual seemingly just came back to life,” Aubin said.
Aubin said his experience should encourage everyone to carry Narcan. Spagnolo and Derby told 12 News it was the first time they heard of someone using the antidote in an emergency situation.
“I was really just in awe that something I did saved someone’s life, and it’s really rewarding hearing our work being paid off directly in our community,” Spagnolo said.
The URI group debunks misconceptions about Narcan, hoping to make a difference in a crisis that is plaguing the nation.
“There are people who think Narcan isn’t safe for them. They think they might get in trouble if they try to administer it for somebody, so those are things we like to clear up for people,” Derby said.