Naloxone, the life saving drug used in response to opioid overdoses, could soon be available to staff and students at McCormick Middle School.
Sold under the brand name Narcan, doses of the drug have already been placed in Wellington High School over the past few years as opioid deaths continue to mount across Lorain County.
The board of education began drawing up district policy on the use of naloxone Feb. 20 at its regular monthly meeting.
Superintendent Ed Weber said he expects the drug to be at McCormick starting next school year.
“We have to have staff trained and have a board policy before we can do this,” he said. “The high school qualified right away to get it because (Tina) Drake was already certified in that regard.”
“We only got EpiPens in the schools a couple of years ago,” Weber said. “It’s just a sign of the times we’re in.”
Naloxone comes to the district free of charge through Lorain County Public Health, formerly known as the Lorain County General Health District.
Drake earned her certification in naloxone administration in 2015 just before taking over as principal at WHS. She initially heard about the training through the Wellington police department’s Local Initiative Networking Compassion program, or LINC.
Through LINC, those struggling with addiction can go to police for help without fear of legal repercussions. They are placed in rehabilitation centers across the country, with some going as far as Arizona and Florida.
“I went ahead and got trained because I wanted Narcan here if it’s needed,” Drake said. “I trained in Amherst and worked directly with the county health board. We’re still in the beginning stages of discussing this policy here in Wellington but the conversation has started.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.