The Wilton Woman’s Club has presented the Wilton Police Department with a $1,000 donation toward purchasing naloxone, or Narcan, for each of the department’s police cars.
The state of Connecticut recently passed a law mandating that first responders in each town be equipped with and trained in the use of Narcan, an antidote to opioid overdoses. Opioids include both heroin and legal prescription medicines such as Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin. It was reported in 2010 that enough prescriptions were written that year to keep every adult in America medicated around the clock. Opioid overdoses have skyrocketed across the country and in Connecticut.
This mandate from the state was not handed down with any kind of funding, and had not been budgeted by the town.
Police Chief Robert Crosby said, “We are so glad to receive this donation. We always appreciate it when a private group steps forward to donate, when otherwise we would have had to cut into the town budget. Some people might think $1,000 does not sound big, but now that we do not have to fund the Narcan ourselves, we can put that money to use to purchase other equipment to help Wilton residents. And, hopefully, knock on wood, we never have to use the Narcan.”
The woman’s club, which made its donation on Jan. 10, is partnering with the Wilton Youth Council this year to fight against substance abuse, including the abuse of opioids. The WYC will be the club’s sole beneficiary of this year’s annual fund-raiser, which will take place March 30 at Rolling Hills Country Club. Last year, the WWC raised $35,000 at the fund-raiser, which it donated to the Wilton loop of the Norwalk River Valley Trail.
The Wilton Youth Council has fought substance abuse for more than 30 years, and last year held a special panel to educate town residents about the dangers of opioids and the importance of cleaning out medicine cabinets, discarding unused painkillers, following doctors’ directions about when to stop taking medicine, and preventing family members from using these drugs when not prescribed.
The Woman’s Club will hold a drive in late February to provide different locations where Wilton residents can discard expired and unused medicines. The Police Department already provides a secure box in its lobby for this purpose, that residents are encouraged to use anytime. “I hope people do not feel there is any stigma to dropping unused medication at the Police Department dropbox,” Chief Crosby said, “They are doing the responsible thing by getting rid of these legal medications once no longer needed.”
For more information on the WWC, visit wiltonwomansclub.org.