It would be a whole lot easier to just pretend like the Ashland community is immune to the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
But easy isn’t right. Pretending ignores reality. Pretending destroys families and costs lives.
The opioid crisis and misuse of drugs doesn’t spare any community, and as much as we would like to think that our teenagers would never do drugs, the reality is that half of teenagers have misused a drug at least once, and over 5% of 12th graders have misused opioids other than heroin at least once.
5% might not seem like a lot, but that adds up to 50 Ashland High School students.
With the rise of fentanyl-laced street drugs and the staggering increase in accidental drug overdoses nationwide, it’s dangerously irresponsible to NOT keep life-saving Narcan on hand.
The sooner we’re able to respond in an overdose situation by administering Narcan, the more likely an individual is to recover from that overdose.
Narcan, the brand name for the medication Naloxone, is used to rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. This reversal can prevent the loss of life.
Narcan is available in Ohio without a prescription—for free—from retail pharmacies and several local providers, including ACCADA, Appleseed Community Mental Health Center, and the Ashland County Health Department.
Despite its life-saving potential, there is still a stigma around the presence and use of Narcan. This stigma exists primarily because of two key myths:
Narcan encourages people with a substance use disorder to keep using.
Narcan will prevent those same people from seeking treatment.
These myths are simply not true.
It only takes one wrong dose, one wrong pill, one mistaken exposure to a highly potent drug for an overdose to occur.
Our students deserve a chance at life. Our students deserve a chance to recover.
In our own community, Narcan saved the lives of two Ashland County deputies who were exposed to the potent drug, fentanyl.
Narcan can save...
The student who thinks they’re taking something safe, only to learn too late that it was laced with fentanyl.
A student who is just accidentally exposed to the highly potent and toxic fentanyl.
The person who is misusing legally prescribed opioids for pain.
No matter what the scenario, Narcan saves lives. But if we don’t have Narcan available, those lives don’t have a second chance.
According to a report issued by the Ohio Department of Health, when naloxone and overdose education are available, overdose deaths decrease.
It is time for our community to discard the stigma around Narcan and remember that every life is precious.
Having medications and treatments on-hand in our schools ensures that we’re able to respond efficiently and effectively in the event of an overdose, potentially saving that life.
Where should Narcan be stored?
Narcan should be added to every classroom First Aid Kits or at least in the School Nurse’s office, similar to keeping rapid epinephrine injectors on-campus for serious allergic reactions.
Is it safe for anyone to administer?
Narcan can be administered as a nasal spray or it can be injected into the muscle, under the skin, or into the veins. It’s relatively safe to administer. Watch this video to understand better how to administer Narcan.
What if someone isn’t actually overdosing?
Narcan does not harm people to receive if they don’t have opioids in their system.
ACCADA can provide your school district with training and free doses in cooperation with our Ashland County Health Department. Learn more about how Narcan saves lives and connect with ACCADA for more information, training, preventative education, and more.
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In addition to our services in Ashland, we offer services in Loudonville. Our Loudonville office is at the Kettering Health Center, 546 North Union Street. We provide services at this location on Thursdays from 1 to 5 PM.
To schedule an appointment, call (419) 289-7675.