FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) — As the new school year begins, Kentucky school districts are considering whether to stock naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, an opioid-blocker that can be given in the event of a heroin or prescription painkiller overdose.
According to a news release sent to WDRB media. the drug is being made available free to high schools nationwide as an initiative of the Clinton Foundation and Adapt Pharma.
“Although we hope no student, staff or family member ever falls victim to drug abuse, we cannot ignore the potential that an overdose could occur at school,” Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said. “This is an opportunity for schools to be prepared for that possibility and save a life.”
According to Kentucky’s Office of Drug Control Policy, heroin is especially pervasive in northern Kentucky, Louisville and Lexington. In fact, a growing number of young people who began abusing expensive prescription drugs are switching to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to buy.
It will be up to each school district to determine whether it wants to participate in the Narcan program. However, before it can be distributed to schools, staff must undergo training.
The Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition, a non-profit agency based in Louisville, will be providing a free training at the Kentucky Public School Health Coordinators Summit on September 14 at the Embassy Suites in Lexington. More than 75 districts are signed up for the train the trainer session which will include:
- Review of the law, KRS 156.502
- Types of narcotics
- Differences between a drug high and an overdose
- How to save a life, including the administration of Narcan
- The Good Samaritan Law, which provides an exemption from liability referring a student for treatment
- The Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition also will provide training, by request, at public and private high schools throughout the state.