There is a push to get more American schools stocked with the life-saving medication Narcan due to hundreds of teens overdosing this year, some on school campuses.
Narcan also known as Naloxone is a medication that can help people who are overdosing on an opioid, including prescription medications, heroin, and fentanyl.
Two weeks after nurse Dawn Baker’s high school started stocking Narcan last year, she was called to a classroom where a 16-year-old girl was unresponsive, and she said she believes the girl would not have made it without the Narcan.
Hays County Public Schools, outside of Austin, Texas have used Narcan six times since they started stocking the opioid-reversing drug in schools.
Five students have died off-campus in the past year.
Grieving parents have made videos to show students to deter them away from using drugs.
According to government data, 500 overdoses were reported among teens from 2010-2019.
In 2020, 954 overdoses were reported, and in 2021, 1146 overdoses were reported.
The National Association of School Nurses have encouraged schools to stock up on Narcan.
According to nurse Kate King who is a member of the National Association of School Nurses, there is a fear in some schools of stocking Narcan.
The fear is that drug users will camp out on the doorsteps so that when they use opioids school personnel will have to run out and save them with Naloxone.
There is a fear of danger after administration, people are going to come up swinging, and you’re going to be in danger.
Several schools are trying to fight the Naloxone stigma head-on.
In Montgomery County, Maryland, students and parents received free doses of Naloxone and instructional classes on how to administer the drug.
At a PTA meeting in Arlington, Virginia, adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Sulman Mirza spoke on the importance of teaching our kids how to use Narcan.
As a medical professional, I think it’s really important that if we’re teaching our kids how to put condoms on bananas, then we can teach them how to put Narcan up someone’s nose.
In Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest school district, every K-12 school is being stocked with Naloxone, after a 15-year-old was found dead in a school bathroom from an apparent fentanyl overdose.