Wallingford high schools now have overdose-reversing drug

Connecticut Department of Public Health Overdose Kit, including Narcan (WTNH)
Connecticut Department of Public Health Overdose Kit, including Narcan (WTNH)

WALLINGFORD, Conn (WTNH) – As communities across the country continue to battle the opioid epidemic, high schools in Wallingford have now joined the fight. They are now keeping the life-saving overdose-reversal drug Naloxone on hand. The drug is marketed as Narcan. It is a nasal spray that can bring someone back from the brink of a opioid overdose.

“By taking the nasal spray, just like you would a flonase or something like that, it is meant to reverse those effects, allow the person to stabilize, until additional medical resources can be provided,” explained Wallingford Schools Superintendent Dr. Salvatore Menzo.

According to Menzo, nurses in Wallingford’s two high schools, Lyman Hall and Sheehan now have it. They have not needed it, and they hope they never do.

“We hope that this is purely preventative, something that, unfortunately, expires, and we have to buy again, but the fact is that it never gets used, that’s the key,” Dr. Menzo said.

Police officers and firefighters in Wallingford have Narcan. Dr. Menzo thought the high schools should join the coalition looking to be proactive about opioid overdoses. Especially since it doesn’t cost much.

“There was a grant from the Clinton Foundation,” Menzo said. “It’s $75 a dose, so it’s not as expensive as it once was.”

Right now, the school nurses are the only ones trained in using Narcan, so it is available any time a school nurse is present. That means all during the school day, and any after school or weekend activities where a nurse is required to be present. There are plans to train more people how to use it so it would be available more of the time.

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