Recently in pharma news it was announced that Dublin-based pharmaceutical company Adapt Pharma and Smith Medical Partners LLC would provide high schools across Connecticut with Narcan, an antidote for opiate overdose. The companies have said their intention is to provide every high school in the U.S. with the nasal spray at no cost, if administrators accept the company’s offer. However, their efforts to put the antidote into high schools in Connecticut haven’t been successful so far.
Local high school administrators have said that on high school campuses, opioid overdoses aren’t a big concern. While it seems fairly clear that there is an opioid epidemic sweeping the nation for those who pay attention to the news, it seems local high schools don’t believe they need the Narcan Nasal Spray, which would be provided in cartons, each containing two 4 mg units used for the emergency treatment of fentanyl, heroin, and opioid-related overdoses.
Adapt Pharma’s executive director of communications, Thom Duddy, said that schools play a critical role in the opioid epidemic, and that high schools are the focal point for drug addiction in many communities. Additionally, Duddy said that school campuses are where people who don’t actually attend the school enjoy sporting events, go to vote at election time, and attend other events. Having Narcan on campus could help save someone’s life according to Duddy.
In 2014 there were 47,055 reported drug overdoses, the leading cause for accidental death that year according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, who says addiction to opioid drugs is driving the epidemic. Of those 47,055 overdoses, nearly 19,000 were related to prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, methodone, hydrocodone, Buprenorphine, and heroin (which is illegal).
Time will tell if schools across the U.S. are supplied with an antidote for accidental drug overdoses. As for now, Griswold Public Schools interim superintendent, Susan Rourke, said the district is “nowhere near considering that offer of adopting a policy to have Narcan on campus.”
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