Narcan available at Milford High

MILFORD – Milford High School is taking advantage of the free Narcan kits being made available by New Hampshire’s Executive Council. The council voted last month to accept 171 kits of the overdose-reversal drug for high schools that want to participate, and there is now a kit of the overdose-reversal drug in the MHS nurse’s office.

Some of the state’s high schools have accepted the kits and some are hesitating, but Milford High Principal Brad Craven said he saw no reason not to accept it.

There has never been an overdose in the school, he said, but in recent years, Craven has attended services for Milford graduates, typically in their late 20s or 30s, who died from drug use.

"Any tool that could be helpful is fine with me," he said Monday. "It would be crazy not to" accept it. At the Milford School Board meeting last week, Chairman Paul Dargie said the Narcan issue had been discussed by the district’s Wellness Committee for several months. Executive councilors voted to accept the 171 kits of what is also called naloxone, at a value of $12,825. The intent is to distribute them to all New Hampshire high schools, including private, parochial and charter schools, although it’s up to the schools to decide wheth­er they want to partici­pate.

The Narcan intranasal spray devices are at no cost to schools. Nurses at participating schools are being given instruc­tion on use starting this month, according to the Department of Educa­tion.

Milford Superinten­dent Robert Marquis said there have been discussions on social media about police dogs used for drug searches at the school, and that he wanted to clarify the situ­ation. Although protocols for K-9 use in Milford schools were established in 2007, so far, dogs have never been used.

The policy allows for a search by trained dogs if there are reasonable grounds for a search. Craven said there are "a host of positives and neg­atives" concerning the use of drug-sniffing dogs.

Results of the state Department of Educa­tion risk surveys, which tabulate data on drug, alcohol, cigarette use and other risky behavior every two years, are now available.

Compared to other high schools, Milford’s "data is good, but isn’t great," Craven said.

Marquis told the board that since 2007, there has been a steady decline in reported drug use here, and that 88 percent of the students last year report­ed that they have not been offered, sold or given drugs on school property.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.