WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— Students at Wilkes University are working to make a difference.

The students at Wilkes University’s Nesbitt School of Pharmacy organize an Opioid Awareness Fundraiser every year.

The students understand the growing problem of opioids in our communities and are hoping to make a difference. They raise money by selling food and t-shirts. The proceeds will be donated to the Wilkes-Barre fire department to purchase naloxone.

“So the fire department is considered the first responder so they are sometimes the first on the scene especially in a situation like an opiate overdose so by having this naloxone on hand by us, donating them the money to purchase it then they can have ready for when it’s needed,” explained Ashleigh Brady the co-chair of the American Pharmacists Association at Wilkes University

Naloxone can help reverse an opioid overdose in an emergency situation. Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney says the partnership with the university has been great.

“They raise money for naloxone which the fire department administered last year 192 doses, so they help us with education, and they help us with raising funds to purchase naloxone,” said Cheif Delaney.

Nic Norman is the co-chair of the American Pharmacists Association at Wilkes University. He says he hopes this event raises awareness and notes what he believes is the biggest takeaway for those attending.

“Just having everybody know what exactly people are dealing with and how they can handle or speak with these people and interact with them I think it’s really important for them to understand that,” added Norman.

These students are taking an active approach to a community concern in hopes of saving lives. The students were also taught how to administer naloxone.