Westfield teachers and staff trained on lifesaving medication


During 2023, the Hamilton County Health Department has taken proactive steps to combat the opioid crisis by training educators and staff in every school district, including Westfield Washington Schools, on how to use Narcan, a life-saving medication that can reverse opioid overdoses. Along with the training, the Hamilton County Health Department supplied each school with two doses, which is the recommended amount.

Beginning with school nurses, the training occurred in all county schools except Hamilton Southeastern Schools, which fall under the Fishers Health Department. The HCHD wants to ensure staff members at every building from the high school down to the elementary level have access to Narcan should it be needed. Although no schools have had to use a Narcan dose to date, the HCHD will replace any that are used.

“Unfortunately, an overdose can happen anywhere,” Ginder stated. “Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our community members, especially our youth. The opioid epidemic is a complex and ongoing public health crisis. We’re committed to making sure all educators and staff in our county’s school districts can identify the signs of an overdose, administer Narcan, and provide critical support until emergency responders arrive.”

Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. When someone overdoses on opioids, their breathing can slow down or stop, which can be life-threatening. Narcan, also known by its generic name naloxone, is usually administered as a nasal spray and typically works within minutes by restoring normal breathing and consciousness to the individual who has overdosed.

“We are grateful to the Hamilton County Health Department for providing this essential training,” WWS Superintendent Paul Kaiser stated. “Our top priority is the safety of our students, staff, and visitors, and having our educators trained to respond to opioid emergencies is a crucial step towards achieving that goal.”