Narcan is now required in large school districts
Starting in the fall of the 2020-2021 school year, high schools in districts with more than 2,000 students are required to keep naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication, on campus.
Naloxone, commercially manufactured as Narcan is administered to patients that have overdosed on opioids, via nasal spray.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill earlier in the year that encompassed the treatment of opioid abuse as a whole; the school district requirements were included.
Everett, Snohomish and Monroe school districts fit the parameters and will need to acquire and stock the life-saving medication.
The Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) implemented a policy regarding the new law with the help of the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The policy states only specific personnel can administer the medication: School personnel who become designated trained responders, a school nurse, or a healthcare professional or trained staff person located at a health care clinic on public school property or under contract with the school district.
According to the director of communications for Everett Public Schools, Kathy Reeves, Everett has adopted the policy issued by the WSSDA.
Kristin Foley, communications director for Snohomish School District said the district is in the process of reviewing the proposed policy from the state.
“We expect the district to approve a formal policy and procedure specific to Snohomish before the 2020-2021 school year. All staff will not be trained as part of this implementation,” Foley said.
Monroe School District has yet to move forward with a policy or procedure regarding the new Narcan legislation, according to communications manager Tamara Krache.
“The focus right now is our reopening plan for fall 2020,” Krache said.
Although the state is requiring roughly two-thirds of school districts to have this medication on hand, the districts will be required to obtain the medication with district funds or through donations of the medication.
“We must purchase or be gifted with it,” Reeves, of Everett Schools, said. “The state does not provide specific funding for this.”
The company that produces Narcan has stated that every high school in the county has access to two free cartons (four doses) of the nasal spray, according to www.narcan.com.
“There are agencies that provide Narcan at no cost to school districts. We are currently investigating those options as part of our implementation,” Foley, of the Snohomish School District, said.
The Everett School District is also looking into the free doses of Narcan.
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