Dunkirk schools to get Narcan

The Dunkirk school district is set to acquire a supply of the anti-opioid overdose drug Narcan.

Nichole Dispense, the district’s chief nurse, emphasized the need for it during a recent presentation to the Dunkirk Board of Education.

Dispense said, “Many other school districts are already doing it. There is a lot of stigma behind it but I think that seems to be fading. … Allowing nurses to have Narcan in district health officews can and will eventually help save a student, a staff member, a parent or a visitor’s life. It’s just that simple.”

She said Chautauqua County had 47 reported opioid overdose deaths between April 2020 and April 2022.

“It’s definitely a problem. It’s definitely happening in Chautauqua County. It’s definitely happening in our students’ homes,” Dispense said. “It’s happening in our schools. Schools are taking drugs in schools. I think we should be prepared to prevent anything from harming a student.”

She explained that Narcan is a nasal spray with the generic name of naloxone that reverses the effects of opioids. If someone has no opioids in their system but gets naloxone, the drug has no negative effects.

“It can be offered to us through the New York opioid overdose prevention program at no cost … they will supply and replace any Narcan that is used, free of cost,” Dispense added.

“In the long run, it just will save a life,” she repeated.

Dispense said only nurses will be allowed to administer the drug at first. She’s certified to train people on Narcan administration and wants to train other staff in the long run, too.

At the end of Dispense’s presentation, District Superintendent Michael Mansfield said the district can place an order for Narcan.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today