Gowanda to host drug prevention training

GOWANDA — Gowanda Central School District is taking action against opioids. The district will host an overdose prevention training on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. in the high school cafeteria, which is open to the public, with the goal of being prepared for the possibility of an overdose.

“At those trainings, we teach people how to recognize an opioid overdose and then we teach them how to respond in those situations,” said Jeffrey Ciminesi, prevention coordinator at Southern Tier Health Care System, Inc. “Part of that response is teaching them how to administer intranasal NARCAN, which is the opioid antidote.”

Gowanda will also mandate that parents of all students who are new to the district or entering fifth or ninth grade to attend a drug forum which follows the prevent that day at 7 p.m.

The district is not hosting the training because of need in Gowanda, but to be ahead of a possible calamity to a relative, neighbor or friend.

See GOWANDA, Page A5

“This is us being proactive,” Gowanda Superintendent James Klubek said. “It’s not about the fear that our problem is bigger than anybody else’s everywhere. We want to make sure that if something does occur that we have people available so that we can look out for the safety of our students or adults, community members, so that we have the training available for them.”

The training will be by Southern Tier Overdose Prevention Program and Southern Tier Health Care System. At the event, there will be free NARCAN kits available and to register, call 372-0614 or go to sthcs.org/Narcan-training.html.

The overdose prevention method has opposition. Some question if the training is promoting the use of opioids. Ciminesi acknowledges this facet of the prevention, but believes that being educated has benefits as well. He stated that approximately 460 people were saved since 2015.

“If it were my family, my brother, my father,” he said, “I would want them to have another chance and when we talk to people that work in treatment, they say, ‘If people knew how many of the individuals on our services, who are receiving services or in recovery, they might rethink that.’ It does work for many people for them to say, ‘Is this where I want to go?'”

Twitter: @Kuczkowski95