Nurses Call for Naloxone in Schools
The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) released a statement calling for all schools to have naloxone—the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose—on hand.
This year only five states have passed laws on the use of naloxone in schools, and Rhode Island has the drug available in all middle, junior high, and high schools (Kim, 2015). While many may think that overdoses at school are not common occurrences, results from a survey questioning eighty-one Rhode Island nurses in a naloxone training program found that “43 percent of high school nurses said that students in their schools were abusing opioids, and 15 nurses said they had to call 911 at least once in the past three years for suspected student substance use or overdose” (Kim, 2015).
Kentucky and New York both have laws that allow school employees to “obtain and administer” the drug and excuse them from liability in using it for an emergency (AP, 2015). Illinois allows nurses to administer the drug, but doesn’t require schools to carry it. According to the Associated Press, Massachusetts nurses in more than two hundred school districts are trained to use naloxone (2015).
Associated Press. (2015). Youth heroin crisis prompts call for schools to keep antidote on hand. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/12/heroin-epidemic-schools-overdose-antidote-naloxone-narcan
Kim, V. (2015). National Association of School Nurses calls for schools to carry naloxone. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/national-association-school-nurses-calls-schools-carry-naloxone