two women standing next to each other smiling toward the camera in front of a UTMB Health back drop and a sign that reads "Innovation in Life Sciences Summer Camp"

How two UTMB Health graduate students are combating drug overdoses, one training at a time

With the rising epidemic of fentanyl overdoses growing every day, two UTMB Health graduate students knew they had to put their brains together to find a solution.

Jacqueline Silva, a senior graduate student in the Pharmacology and Toxicology program, and Holly Chapman, a senior graduate student in the Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine program at UTMB Health, started Community Overdose Response and Recovery Effort (CORRE) in August 2021. The pair were inspired to start the company after participating in Incubate Galveston: A Collective’s Innovation Hackathon together and realizing their combined skills could be put to good use.

“We both worked in the Center for Addiction Research at UTMB. We realized that there was a huge need for our community to be educated on opioids in general,” Silva said. “We wanted to teach how to prevent opioid overdose while reducing the stigma. We both realized that there is a hesitancy to call 911 if someone is in the presence of an opioid overdose emergency, and they maybe were also participating, and so that leads to lots of lives being lost that could have been prevented otherwise.”

CORRE includes three main components:

  • training and educating individuals on opioid overdoses
  • distributing the overdose medication Naloxone, more commonly known as Narcan
  • an app that will allow users to respond to overdoses and anonymously call 911

Silva and Chapman have trained various groups, ranging from police departments to a class of eighth graders. During the training, the duo covers an assortment of topics, including what opioids are; how opioids came about; what their medical uses are; why people might misuse them; how to spot an opioid overdose; and how to respond to one.

“We want to make sure that the community has a free way to understand what opioids are, what Narcan or Naloxone is, and how to recognize the symptoms and prevent overdose deaths in our community,” Chapman said.

The pair likes to also bust various myths floating around about the fentanyl epidemic, including the idea that a person can overdose on fentanyl just by coming into contact with it.

Training sessions can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how much is covered. Silva and Chapman like for the training to be interactive, to help engage the audience in the subject matter. Once the training is complete, participants receive their certification and will be able to respond to community alerts and concerns through the app once it is available.

“Whenever we're training adults, after they receive the training and their certification, they are able to opt in as part of the registered Naloxone responder base,” Silva said.

The app has two different sides to it: community members who are able to respond to alerts and community members who can request help. Members will also be able to request additional Narcan doses, as well as additional training on how to administer Narcan to those experiencing an opioid overdose.

One of the most important features of the app is the ability to anonymously call law enforcement. There has been plenty of stigma and fear around calling 911 in event of an overdose, as many people are afraid of the consequences. By being able to call anonymously, this will help save countless lives.

The CORRE app is currently in early stages of development as Chapman and Silva navigate the technological aspects of it. They hope to have the app fully working and downloadable by 2025.

In Galveston County, residents can pick up free Narcan at the following locations:

  • Central Church: 3308 Ave. O ½, Galveston
  • Saint Vincent House: 2817 Postoffice St., Galveston
  • Galveston County Jail: 5700 Ball St., Galveston
  • MT. ZION MBC: 227 4th Ave. N., Texas City
  • Coffee Connection: 9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Ste. 222, Texas City
  • Harts Pharmacy: 202 State Highway 3, La Marque
  • One Stop Hardware: 8101 Wallace Ave., Hitchcock
  • Sullivans Pharmacy: 1140 Grand Ave., Bacliff
  • HIS Ministries: 4205 Jackson St., Santa Fe

Those who are interested in requesting a CORRE training can visit the website or email or

Though developed by UTMB students, CORRE is not directly affiliated with UTMB. 

The above story was produced by Community Impact's Senior Multi Platform Journalist Sierra Rozen with information solely provided by the local business as part of its "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.