The rate of overdose deaths in this country is staggering, opioid addiction has touched practically every demographic – a problem which is expected to get worse before it gets better. The federal government, along with local lawmakers and health officials, has had to face the problem head on. Developing new plans and strategies to save lives in what could only be described as an uphill battle. In recent years, access to the life saving opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone has increased. The drug, also known as Narcan, is now in the hands of first responders and the loved ones of opioid addicts in many states. Greater naloxone access has saved thousands of lives – a miracle drug by anyone’s standards.
It is sad fact that many teenagers will overdose on prescription opioids or heroin, potentially losing their lives. Fortunately, a number of states have equipped high school nurses with the life saving drug, NPR reports.
School nurses have naloxone on hand in:
- New York
The state of New York altered its laws and allocated $272,000 in the budget this year, giving school nurses access to naloxone, according to the article. In the past, nurses had to call paramedics in the event of an overdose; naturally, when it comes to overdoses, time is of the essence. When nurses have naloxone in their tool belt, there is a greater chance of saving a life.
While it may seem logical to have naloxone on hand at schools, there are some administrators who are reluctant to use naloxone at school for fear of being liable, the article points out. However, under the law nurses are protected from liability, if they act in good faith – making it difficult to file suit.
“Some districts might, nevertheless, fear that they would have to defend this type of lawsuit, even if, ultimately, they were successful,” said Jay Worona, General Counsel for the New York State School Boards Association.
At Synergy Group Services we offer individualized treatment plans for addiction recovery.