Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg
Photo by: Wellington County OPP
Earlier this year, Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) trustees approved the implementation of naloxone kits in all of its schools and board offices.
Gary Slater, superintendent of education with the UGDSB says while our students are not considered particularly a high risk, it was really a proactive measure.
“We do know that there is some level of experimentation with students and there is some usage happening, so it was a possibility,” Slater said.
Slater explains one thing trustees thought about when making the decision.
“Similar to an AED a defibrillator that we have in our schools, it’s there proactively, it may not be something that we use frequently, and we don’t use those either frequently, however, when you do need them they can save a life,” he said.
Slater says before COVID-19, there was a lot of press around the opioid crisis in Canada.
He says concerns were brought forward about student use, and the fact that younger and younger students were potentially using opioids.
“And so, it was just a concern what would we do if there was ever was an overdose in our school, and the fact is, is that you can help somebody having an overdose, this is just one more tool that we would have if that overdose happened to be around opioids.
Slater says that school administrators will be trained at the end of November, and once that happens the kits will go into all schools and board offices.
He says all kits will be stored with the defibrillators, in a metal wall box, “which is very accessible anytime, so it’s in the hall, it’s not locked away in a room, and so those boxes are alarmed.”
Slater says the box will now have a sticker on it that says naloxone.
“And so, we will be providing some educational component around that, and it’s going to differ depending on whether it’s in an elementary school or a secondary school,” he said.
He adds that there have not been any opioid overdoses in any of their schools.