Grant funds Narcan kits for Natchaug, first responders

Thanks to $15,000 in funding from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut (CFECT), families of clients at Natchaug Hospital’s Care Plus program and the City of New London’s first responders have better access to Narcan to help save the lives of opioid overdose victims.

A ceremony was held at the New London Fire Department Headquarters on Oct. 12, in which Hartford HealthCare, Natchaug Hospital and the city of New London, including its fire department, celebrated their strong relationship and gave thanks for the grant – which not only saves lives, but also helps connect patients to care.

Natchaug Hospital used funds from CFECT to purchase Naloxone kits, known commercially as Narcan, for family members of clients who have been treated for opioid addiction and/or overdose, and also distribute them to New London first responders.

“We’re very proud of the quick response times of our ambulance service here in New London,” said New London Mayor Michael Passero, a former firefighter. “With Narcan, timing is everything. This partnership is crucial because now the ambulance service can partner with the community, family members, friends and educate them on how to provide Narcan. The extra time that is saved can be really important.”

Narcan prevents opiate overdose death by quickly reversing the effects of the drug. While pharmacies in Connecticut can now prescribe and distribute Narcan and the accompanying kit over the counter, it is expensive and not covered by insurance. New London Human Services Director Jeanne Milstein says New London has made strides in the opioid crisis and said community partnerships are crucial.

“Hartford HealthCare has been an essential partner,” she said. “We know we can get someone into treatment and that there are quality services available in the city.”