NaloxBox: Response to the Opioid Crisis
Written By: Kamilah Thorne, Mia Len & Natalie Wind
Group members for the case study, NaloxBox: Response to the Opioid Crisis, include three classmates from Professor Imran Chowdhury’s Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship class: Mia Len ‘22: (she, her, hers), Major(s): Business and Management, Minor(s): Hispanic Studies and Journalism Studies; Kamilah Thorne ‘20 (she, her, hers), Major(s): Business and Management; Natalie Wind ‘20 (she, her, hers), Major(s): Business and Management, Minor(s): U.S. Economy. This project was completed in collaboration with Professor Imran Chowdhury of the Business and Management department at Wheaton College, MA.
The Rhode Island Department of Health provided two grants to Lifespan Hospital. From these grants, a medical doctor, Dr. Geoff Capraro, and Professor Claudia Rébola, an industrial designer, collaborated to establish NaloxBox. Their goal was to provide an overdose reversal drug, Naloxone, to high-traffic areas within Rhode Island in an effort to increase public access. With high rates of utilization, NaloxBox was able to become a successful non-profit.
Photo by Mark Oniffrey on Wikipedia
The essential question we hoped to address was, “What is the most efficient and effective way to eradicate deaths from opioid overdoses?”. With this in mind, our goal was to aid NaloxBox in spreading awareness of its products as a way to help prevent the deaths of individuals who overdose. NaloxBox members continue to help educate their communities on the dangers of opioids and the misuse of drugs and their effects. This research is relevant and important in the present day as there has been a steady increase in opioid-related deaths across the US. The goal of Naloxbox is to implement as many of their products in community centers as a preventative measure in case of an overdose. Our research helps create a dialogue surrounding the opioid epidemics that are occurring in states like Rhode Island and ensure that the conversation still continues to happen. The efforts we make here will hopefully draw more attention to the prevention of addiction as opposed to just the prevention of death. By providing a safe place to store naloxone, NaloxBox is ensuring that the community has access to and can administer the drug in the event that an overdose occurs in heavily populated and public areas.
Through a Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SE Greenhouse) contact, we began the preliminary research on NaloxBox. We informed them of our social venture project, along with our preferences for a researchable social enterprise. They were extremely helpful in providing us with contact information for various social enterprises, but ultimately, what attracted us to NaloxBox was the founders’ passion to serve their community and ability of the organization to increase in capacity.
We faced a couple of challenges during our project, one main one being that NaloxBox is only in its third year of operation, so it was difficult to find substantial information about the history of the organization. Additionally, it was challenging to communicate back-and-forth with the founders of the organization since they work in the medical field and have intense schedules. Despite these obstacles, the employees and leaders were very helpful and willing to provide us with information that could help us with our case study.
We were pleasantly surprised that our research on Naloxbox was accepted to the EAM / CASE Association this spring. We have the opportunity to work alongside Professor Chowdhury and present our project at a virtual conference this summer!
We’d like to express our gratitude towards Professor Chowdhury. He was by far our strongest collaborator throughout the process. His excitement and passion for incorporating it into his future class curricula inspired us to continue our research in the form of a case study. His valuable connections and knowledge enhanced our learning, not just during this project, but throughout the semester taking his amazing course.
Thank you for taking the time to check out our project and read our blog post!