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NARCAN Kits for Schools

Today, President Trump announced the administration’s strategy to combat the opioid crisis at a press conference in New Hampshire. Among the main points was ADAPT Pharmaceuticals’ plan to distribute free NARCAN kits to all high schools and universities across the U.S.

This announcement comes on the heels of the successful piloting of a similar program ADAPT launched in a small set of high schools in 2017. “The success of the Free NARCAN® Nasal Spray for High Schools Program demonstrates the important role academic institutions can play in educating students about opioid misuse and keeping them safe in the face of the current opioid epidemic,” said Seamus Mulligan, Chairman and CEO of Adapt Pharma. Expanding this program to U.S. colleges and universities will continue this education as well as expand access to this potentially life-saving tool.”

The program will include:

  • Expanding free NARCAN® Nasal Spray availability by eliminating the prior 20,000 cartons cap for eligible colleges and universities*
  • Doubling the allocation to high schools from one free carton (two 4mg doses) to two free cartons (four 4mg doses)
  • Extending the term of the free NARCAN® Nasal Spray offer until it is in every high school and eligible college and university in the U.S.

What is not included in the program is recovery support services and resources for students seeking support after an overdose reversal. Saving lives is the critical first step, but if students are to build a foundation of recovery, Transforming Youth Recovery (TYR) believes additional resources and services are critical to healthy, long-term outcomes. Besides an immediate referral to treatment following a reversal, we encourage each school district and university to:

  1. Train staff to use Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT),
  2. Provide access to local, recovery resources including recovery support specialists or recovery coaches,
  3. Support community activities that celebrate recovery in a developmentally appropriate way (ex. alternatives to prom, sober tailgating, etc.),
  4. Create a plan for students entering or re-entering secondary or post-secondary institutions after completing treatment.

We believe in supporting all communities, one student, one family, one campus at a time. TYR invites the Office of National Drug Control Policy, ADAPT Pharma, and others to read our research supporting the above suggestions as well as use the Addiction Resource Hub to connect those in need to the recovery resources in their community.

For research, please visit: transformingyouthrecovery.org/research/

For the Addiction Resource Hub, please visit: capacitype.com/find-it

Written by Kristen Harper, M.Ed.

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