Today, Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) announced that starting this fall semester all 16 physical campuses will be supplied with the FDA-approved Naloxone, also known as Narcan, a nasal spray that reverses the effects of opioids. With the exception of Charter Oak, CSCU’s online institution, first responders will have Narcan available and ready for use on campuses in case an overdose emergency presents itself. Although on-campus instances are extremely low, increasing incidence of opioid-related overdoses occurring nationwide initiated the decision to make it available to students and campus communities.
The administration of the nasal spray will vary. Police officers at the four CSCU universities— Central, Southern, Eastern and Western — and four CSCU community colleges with a police force — Naugatuck Valley, Capital, Gateway and Manchester — will act as first responders at each of those campuses. At the remaining eight community colleges without a police force, specific staff trained in responding to health crises or other campus leaders will be appointed to administer Narcan if they arrive at the scene of an overdose before non-CSCU medical providers or law enforcement officers.
“It is our sincere hope that the staff at CSCU colleges and universities never have to resort to the use of Narcan on their campuses,” said President Ojakian. “Recent history, however, suggests it is significantly better to be prepared for these cases if and when they occur. Along with the education of our students, their safety is a paramount concern for us.”
Deputy Director of AIDS CT, Shawn Lang, who helped lead the effort to get the life-saving drug on CSCU campuses added, “Unfortunately, I have many years of experience and have seen the positive impact Narcan can have on people’s lives. I really appreciate how quickly CSCU leadership responded to make Narcan available to students. Although I hope there never comes a time when they need it, sadly, it’s best to be prepared for any emergency.”
Gregory Sneed, Chief of Police for CCSU also added “At CCSU, this is about saving lives and creating a safer environment for our entire campus community. These incidents rarely if ever occur but we want to be able to help any student who unintentionally put themselves in harm’s way. We also truly appreciate the partnerships we have with our local first responders including EMS and New Britain Fire Department, who help our students when they are both on and off campus.”
Each of the four Connecticut State Universities will receive an initial quantity of four doses per semester, and the doses administered will be replenished as it is used. By the end of the semester, each of the 12 community colleges will be provided with two doses per semester for administration on their campuses. The shelf life of Narcan is up to 24 months.
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