The vast reach of the opioid crisis is not limited to adults, the poor or those who live in big cities. The epidemic is affecting students and their family members. More and more schools are finding it necessary to stock naloxone, better known by its brand name of Narcan, to revive overdose victims. Drug overdose deaths have hit record numbers in recent years according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Association of School Nurses supports keeping naloxone in schools, and law enforcement officers are now being equipped with the life saving drug.
Kentucky, Rhode Island, Maryland, Ohio, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Delaware, and New York, all have access to Narcan in their schools through either their school resource officers or school nurses. Some schools even allow other employees such as administrative staff or teachers to be trained and excused from liability if needed to administer naloxone.
How can I do that?
1. Contact your school's administrators (principal, vice-principal), school board, local drug coalition, school resource officer or nursing staff member to see what is already in place or what restrictions your school and district might have.
2. Get funding and purchase the Narcan! Adapt Pharma has a ‘Free NARCAN Nasal Spray High School Program’ that gives high schools Narcan for free. (Schools must adhere to the requirements listed on their application. The Department of Health and Human Services has grants available as does Blue Cross Blue Shields of Tennessee.
3. Train everyone that you can. Contact your local health department for training on how to use Narcan. The Department of Health and Human Services helps states pay for training.