In response to the growing Fentanyl crisis, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario has purchased Naloxone kits for all CDSBEO schools. On Tuesday, May 30, several staff from each school attended training sessions in Kemptville and Cornwall to learn how to administer Naloxone, an antidote for opioid overdose. Kits were distributed to each school at the session.
Discussing the growing opioid crisis at the training session, Harm Reduction Coordinator Jennifer Adams from the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit noted, “Opioid related deaths are a leading cause of death in Ontario. These deaths are outnumbering motor vehicle collision deaths by a long shot in our province, and there has been a 463 per cent increase in opioid deaths between 2000 and 2013. In 2015, there were 735 opioid deaths in Ontario, and 201 of these were from Fentanyl.”
The Board has recently partnered with the Upper Canada District School Board and local health units to host a series of public information sessions to promote community awareness regarding the Fentanyl crisis. Bootleg Fentanyl is a highly toxic and dangerous opioid drug that has been discovered in several areas across Eastern Ontario. It can be found in powdered form, pressed into pills or mixed into other drugs such as OxyContin and heroin. It may also go by the street names of Faded 80’s, Fake Oxy’s, or K22’s. Bootleg Fentanyl has also been detected in the cocaine supply in the area, and this is of particular concern as the majority of people will unknowingly consume the drug, placing them at a much higher risk of overdose.
Director of Education, Wm. J. Gartland explained the importance of having the kits in schools.
“We hope that these kits will never need to be used, but in the event that they are needed, the Naloxone will help to buy time for someone experiencing an opioid overdose until first responders arrive.”
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario operates 40 elementary and 10 secondary schools across 8 counties. The CDSBEO offers excellence in Catholic education through provincial-leading programs to approximately 12,800 students.