The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities announced Wednesday that the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan will be available on all 16 state university and college campuses. Western Connecticut State University spokesman Paul Steinmetz say they already Narcan in the doctor's office on campus. The Danbury Police and Fire Departments along with EMTs all carry Narcan as well.
WCSU has been sent Narcan packages from the CSCU system. University police officers will be trained to use the overdose reversal drug. The university is looking to obtain enough Narcan so each officer can have some on them, because often times WCSU PD is the first to respond to the scene.
Steinmetz says one WCSU officer saved the life of a person visiting a student who was suffering an overdose, but they haven't had to use Narcan. He adds that having Narcan on campus is a precautionary measure because they haven't had a problem with overdoses. But Steinmetz says WCSU wants to be ready if something happens.
Accidental drug overdose numbers in Connecticut are on the rise. Chief Medical Examiner James Gill says drug overdoses in Connecticut this year are on pace to top last year’s figure by 18 percent. There were 539 accidental drug abuse deaths from January through June. The projection for overdose deaths for 2017 is 1,078, which would be an 18 percent increase over last year. Gill said 322 of the deaths this year were linked to fentanyl. If that rate holds up, there will be 644 fentanyl-related deaths in the state in 2017, a 33 percent increase over last year.