MONMOUTH COUNTY – On the recommendation of Monmouth County Academy of Allied Health and Science student Josh Estin, the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, more commonly known by its brand name Narcan, will now be available in all Monmouth County high schools.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni recently joined medical and school officials from across the county to talk about the new program and the importance of county schools being ready and properly equipped in case of an overdose situation.
“We have not had a drug overdose death at any school in Monmouth County. But with that said, one never knows whether an overdose could occur at or near a school. Having additional trained staff to administer naloxone, if necessary, can save a life,” Gramiccioni told school officials. “This training is precautionary, but a necessary safeguard in light of the scope of this epidemic. I hope schools never have to use these kits, but we want them to be prepared.”
Even though an overdose death has not happened in a Monmouth County school to date, overdoses have been witnessed in people as young as 15 years old within county lines. Dr. Victor Almeida, who is the Director of the Emergency Department at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, provided school officials with training on how to use naloxone in the event of an overdose at school and shed some light on the complexity of the epidemic.
The preparedness doesn’t just apply to public schools, either. Every public, private and parochial high school in Monmouth County will have the same naloxone that law enforcement officers, EMTs and firefighters have been using to save lives since 2014. Over the past three years, it has saved almost 1,000 lives in Monmouth County, and throughout that same time period, has been deployed nearly 10,000 times statewide.
Naloxone kits have been given to all Monmouth County schools free of charge, courtesy of Adapt Pharma of Radnor, Pennsylvania.
“The latest reports from drug abuse experts indicate our young people are at the greatest risk for drug addiction. We can’t ignore the fact that kids are using and abusing drugs and dying at alarming rates. We must battle this deadly addiction, and these naloxone kits will help fight the fight,” said Monmouth County Chief of Detectives Michael Pasterchick.