Youth council takes aim at opioid crisis

Seeking to address Connecticut’s opioid crisis on a local level, the Wilton Youth Council has won a grant from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, which it will use to implement its Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis.

The first step is a free Narcan training session on Monday, March 12, at 10 a.m., at Wilton Library.

Narcan is the brand name of the drug naloxone, which can be used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose. It is carried in all police patrol vehicles in Wilton as well as its ambulances.

“If you recognize the symptoms of overdose, it’s easy to administer Narcan spray,” said Genevieve Eason, youth council vice president. “I was trained to administer Narcan this past October. It’s simple to do, and it’s reassuring to know that if I’m ever in that situation — when minutes really matter -—there is something I can do to help before I call 9-1-1.”

Participants at the training session will learn overdose prevention strategies, the signs and symptoms of overdose, and how to administer Narcan. Good Samaritan laws will also be covered, and additional information and resources will be available.  Registration is recommended by visiting www.wiltonlibrary.org or calling 203-762-6334.

Another objective of the grant is education for physicians, dentists, veterinarians and pharmacists about the Connecticut Prescription Monitoring and Reporting System (CPMRS). This portion will be carried out by social worker Ginna Yerrall, who is acting as a consultant for the youth council.

“The state maintains a database for monitoring controlled substances,” she said. “One project I’ll be working on with Wilton Youth Council, is educating local prescribers and pharmacists about how to utilize this database.”  

“This grant provides us with the opportunity to hire Ginna to deliver prevention efforts that we wouldn’t be able to offer on our own,” Eason said. “She will also be helping us to provide education and information to parents and community leaders on opioid use disorder, overdose prevention, and safe storage and disposal of prescription medications. We’re so pleased to be able to offer all of this to our community.”

For more information on Wilton Youth Council’s Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis, email Eason at [email protected]

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