JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – “We know that the opioid epidemic and overdose crisis is impacting every community in Oregon and unfortunately we are seeing some youth who are dying now from opioid overdoses.”
The Oregon Health Authority has announced its plan to offer free opioid overdose kits to middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the state.
“The kits include eight doses of the naloxone drug which is a very safe drug administered intranasally with a little spray,” said Tom Jeanne, Oregon Deputy State Health Director.
OHA says since schools were notified about the program, over 500 schools have requested a kit. This includes schools in Southern Oregon like the Phoenix-Talent School District and Southern Oregon University.
The Medford School District says it’s glad to see the program it’s had in place for a while be adopted into other schools statewide.
“It’s one less barrier for us to be able to access these type of tools,” said Ron Havniear, Director of security, leadership, and facilities at Medford School District.
Last month, Jackson County Public Health declared an opioid crisis for the region due to an increase in overdoses and drug related deaths.
Havniear says not even the schools are safe from the dangers of opioid use.
“It’s an unfortunate reality that we face but our community is saturated with drugs,” he said. “Accessibility has skyrocketed and our schools are reflective of our community.”
Havniear says it’s better to be prepared than not when it comes to opioid overdoses.
“It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”
OHA says this effort is an expansion of the Save Lives Oregon Initiative’s harm reduction clearinghouse project.
For more information, including the link to the online application, please visit savelivesoregon.org.
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