We present a study of the noise driven escape of an overdamped Brownian particle moving in a cubic potential profile with a metastable state. We analyze the role of the initial conditions of the particle on the enhancement of the average escape time as a function of the noise intensity for fixed and fluctuating potentials. We observe the noise enhanced stability effect for all the initial unstable states investigated. For a fixed potential we find a peculiar initial condition $x_c$ which separates the set of the initial unstable states in two regions: those which give rise to divergences from those which show nonmonotonic behavior of the average escape time. For fluctuating potential at this particular initial condition and for low noise intensity we find large fluctuations of the average escape time.