NARCAN in the High School
After much consideration, the Central Dauphin School District has elected to make available in the secondary schools, Narcan, an effective and safe antidote to opioid overdose. In Central Dauphin, both nurses as well as the school resource officer, are trained and prepared to use this life-saving medication should the need arise. Availability of Narcan in the schools is supported by the National Association of School Nurses. Information and a link to the NASN position statement is provided below. While Narcan is an unfortunate necessity, emphasis must be placed on the availability of opioid use in the homes. Please take a moment and read the attached article on preventing abuse of opioids.
NASN Position Statement on the Availability of NARCAN in the Schools
Schools should be responsible for anticipating and preparing to respond to a variety of emergencies (Doyle, 2013). The school nurse is often the first health professional who responds to an emergency in the school setting. The school nurse possesses the education and knowledge to identify emergent situations, manage the emergency until relieved by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, communicate the assessment and interventions to EMS personnel, and follow up with the healthcare provider. Harm reduction approaches to OPR overdose include expanding access to naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote, which can prevent overdose deaths by reversing life-threatening respiratory depression. When administered quickly and effectively, naloxone has the potential to immediately restore breathing to a victim experiencing an opioid overdose (Hardesty, 2014).
Naloxone saves lives and can be the first step towards OPR abuse recovery. It provides an opportunity for families to have a second chance with their loved ones by getting them into an appropriate treatment regimen (Lagoy, 2014). Ensuring ready access to naloxone is one of the SAMSHA’s five strategic approaches to prevent overdose deaths (SAMHSA, 2013).
Preventing Opiod Abuse