The vast reach of the opioid crisis is not limited to adults, the poor, or urban areas. This 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, resuscitate overdose victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths have hit record numbers in recent years. 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, have access to Narcan in their schools through their 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 administration of naloxone is needed.
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 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 Blue Cross Blue Shields of Tennessee have grants available.
3. Train everyone that you can. Contact your local health department for training on how to use Narcan appropriately. The Department of Health and Human Services can help states pay for training.