State colleges and universities to have Narcan available for first responders

Narcan is a nasal spray meant to reverse the effects of an overdose.

HARTFORD — As another tool to help battle the opioid epidemic, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) , Mark Ojakian, announced that started this fall semester, all 16 physical campuses will be supplied with the DFA-approved Nalaxone, also known as Narcan.

Narcan is a nasal spray that reverses the effects of opioids, which is helpful in the cases of saving people from overdoses.

CSCU says that while on-campus instances are extremely low, increasing incidents of opioid-related overdoses occurring nationwide helped the decision to make it available to studenst and campus communities in Connecticut.

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.

President Ojakian said in a statement:

“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. 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.”

Gregory Sneed, the Cheif of Police for Central Connecticut State University said:

“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.