Opioid Overdose Prevention Policy

The Board of Regents for Higher Education (“BOR”) in conjunction with the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) is committed to maintaining safe and substance-free campuses for all students, employees and visitors.  This policy is adopted in accordance with the Connecticut Public Act No. 19-191 Sec. 7 and in alignment with other BOR policies.

It is the intent of the BOR and each of its Colleges and Universities to increase awareness regarding opioid addiction and prevention, and to address the proper training, administration, and usage of naloxone hydrochloride, commonly known as Narcan®, or other similarly acting and equally safe overdose-reversing drug approved by the FDA (“opioid antagonists”). Opioid antagonists are a proven and effective emergency treatment for known or suspected opioid overdoses. Such medications are not a substitute for emergency medical care. However, when administered during an opioid overdose, and with proper emergency medical assistance, lives may be saved.

I. Administration of Opioid Antagonists

In response to the national and state-wide epidemic, and in recognition that no community is without the potential of an opiate overdose, BOR in conjunction with CSCU Colleges and Universities, has developed specific requirements and procedures concerning the appropriate protocols associated with the administration and use of opioid antagonists. CSCU Colleges and Universities must maintain an easily accessible supply of opioid antagonists to be used in case of emergencies.

A. Designated Medical or Public Safety Personnel

All CSCU Colleges and Universities will develop and maintain a written directive, including emergency procedures that identify individuals trained for the proper use and administration of opioid antagonists to effectively treat and reduce any fatalities associated with opioid drug overdoses at their respective institutions.

Connecticut State law requires each campus to designate medical or public safety professionals (“Designated Personnel”) to oversee the purchase, storage and distribution of opioid antagonists. The Designated Personnel may, but are not required to, be trained to administer the opioid antagonists, and other individuals may be designated to be trained to respond in emergency situations. The Good Samaritan Law provides protection from liability to any such person. CSCU campuses have discretion to determine who may be trained as first responders in opioid overdose situations, however, only the Designated Personnel have the authority to oversee and manage the supply and distribution of opioid antagonists.

    1. CSCU Universities

For the purposes of this policy, the University Police Chiefs or their designees are the designated public safety professionals (“Designated Personnel”) authorized to oversee and develop the procedures for the purchase, storage, distribution, disposal and reported use of opioid antagonists at each of their campuses.

    1. CSCU Community Colleges

For the purposes of this policy, the College CEOs are responsible for designating the medical or public safety professionals or their equivalent (“Designated Personnel”) authorized to oversee and develop the procedures for the purchase, storage, distribution, disposal and reported use of opioid antagonists within each of their institutions.

B. Location of Opioid Antagonists

Each CSCU College and University will develop the written emergency procedures and is required to identify the location(s) on each campus where the opioid antagonists are stored, and which locations (police cars or police officers, Automatic External Defibrillators cabinets, residence halls, health services, etc.) will be made known and accessible to students and employees.

C. Opioid Antagonist Administration Training

The CSCU Colleges and Universities will develop and implement procedures for the appropriate training of individuals to access and administer the opioid antagonist kits in emergency situations. The Designated Personnel will keep a record of all trained individuals and ensure the opioid overdose response training is current. The trained individuals must be easily located and respond immediately in case of an opioid-related overdose emergency. The trained individuals are responsible for observing the manufacturer’s guidelines and must be able to easily access the opioid antagonist kits.

D. Counseling or Health Services

If a CSCU campus has a counseling or health services office, every member of its medical staff must receive opioid overdose response training. However, each CSCU campus may designate additional individuals to be trained as first responders in overdose situations.  Moreover, counseling or health services staff must be prepared to identify students who are at high risk for drug overdose so they can provide appropriate medical attention or refer the student to an alternative source for mental and behavioral healthcare access.

E. Campus Law Enforcement or Security Personnel

If a CSCU campus has a law enforcement of security personnel, every officer or security personnel must receive opioid overdose response training. However, each CSCU campus may designate additional (not law enforcement or security) individuals to be trained as first responders in overdose situations.

F. Maintenance and Disposal of Opioid Antagonists

Each CSCU College and University must maintain the supply of the opioid antagonists in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. The opioid antagonists must be kept out of direct light, stored at room temperature, and not be subjected to extreme temperatures as extreme weather conditions may impact the effectiveness of the medication.

The designated professionals on each CSCU campus are responsible for disposing of unneeded or expired opioid antagonists. Each CSCU campus may dispose of opioid antagonists through a manufacturer or distributor medicine take-back program, return the unneeded or expired medications to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, locate an authorized drug collection site near the respective CSCU campus, or employ other controlled substance disposal method in accordance with CSCU policy, federal, state or local laws.

G. Reporting Requirements

Prior to, during or as soon as practicable, the trained individuals, medical or public safety professionals administering the opioid antagonist, after each use of an opioid antagonist, must call 911 or notify a local emergency medical services provider, unless the individual, to whom the opioid antagonist was administered, has already received emergency medical treatment for the opioid-related drug overdose.

The Designated Personnel at each campus is required to maintain a current record of every use or administration of an opioid antagonist kit. On or before October 1 of each year, all CSCU Colleges and Universities must report to the CSCU Chief of Staff the statistics and a brief description of every incident that required the use of opioid antagonist administration at their respective institution within the prior year.

H. Awareness Campaigns

Each CSCU College and University will develop and implement a process to continually educate students, faculty and staff regarding opioid antagonist availability on their campuses through a multi – faceted approach including, but not limited to, email, institutional websites, social media, posters, new student and employee orientations, and open on – campus overdose response trainings.  Campuses are encouraged to engage students from health professions schools (e.g. pharmacy, medicine, nursing, social work), student organizations (e.g.  student government, health promotion, students for sensible drug policy), or community organizations to promote awareness and education with the goal of decreasing stigma and preventing overdose deaths.

II. Good Samaritan Law

C.G.S. § 17a-714a permits licensed healthcare practitioners authorized to prescribe an opioid antagonist to prescribe, dispense, or administer the medication to treat or prevent a drug overdose without being 1) civilly or criminally liable for the action or for its subsequent use; or 2) deemed as violating their professional standard of care. The law also provides the same legal protection from civil or criminal liability, and allows anyone, if acting with reasonable care, to administer an opioid antagonist to a person one believes in good faith is experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose.

III. Policy Dissemination

Upon adoption by the Board all CSCU institutions will, upon receipt, immediately post and maintain this policy, including current Designated Personnel contact information specific to their institution, at all times in an easily accessible manner on each institution’s website. Each CSCU institution is responsible for maintaining its contact information current on their website and within its written procedures.

This policy will thereafter be annually provided to all campus law enforcement officers and security personnel, counseling and medical personnel, resident hall advisors and other campus personnel. Further, this policy shall be presented at student orientation and at student awareness and prevention trainings, and made broadly available at each campus.