Here’s some rather sobering news. In the last decade, the number of deaths caused by heroin, according to the CDC, has quadrupled, with young adult users between the ages of 18 and 25 doubling. This terrifying statistic makes access to naloxocone, the heroin overdose reversal drug, more urgent than ever before. Realizing this need, the Clinton Foundation and Adapt Pharma have stepped up to the plate in order to roll out this OD reversal drug to high schools across the country.
Naloxone can be a life-saving tool, not only for young people battling heroin addiction, but for reducing the rate of opioid-related deaths linked to heroin. Heroin binds to opioid receptors, and an overdose can deprive your brain of oxygen. When taken by injection or nasal spray, naloxone can block heroin’s effect on the opioid receptors, ultimately reversing an overdose.
Naloxone was previously offered to college students at a discount, but the new program, part of the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative, will offer a free carton of the nasal spray variant (NARCAN) to all high schools in the country through the state departments of education. Of course, without drug education, this service can only do so much. A grant will also be offered to the National Association of School Nurses to assist in opioid education. It is this type of education that experts think could prove vital to changing that statistic. Dr. Sharon Stancliff, an internationally renowned opioid overdose prevention expert and Medical Director at the Harm Reduction Coalition, has worked with dug abusers since 1990. She tells us, “I hope this initiative will promote the education of high school students on how to reduce the risk of overdose and what to do if they encounter a potential overdose.” We certainly hope so too.
A program that saves lives and boosts drug awareness? That gets an A+ in our book!
What are your thoughts on this high school initiative? Tweet us @BritandCo!