Districts weighing question of placing Narcan in schools to prevent potential overdose deaths

Narcan can reverse fentanyl overdose symptoms, one of the most harrowing drugs facing students today.
Narcan can reverse fentanyl overdose symptoms, one of the most harrowing drugs facing students today.
Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 6:32 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - One of the scariest drugs currently facing students nowadays is fentanyl. The smallest amount of the powerful synthetic opioid can be deadly, even the first time.

Earlier this week, the Biden Administration urged schools to keep the reversal drug Narcan stocked at schools. The FDA approved an over-the-counter version this year, and the manufacturer of the antidote has lowered the cost in an effort to make it more accessible.

Since last year, two Hough High School students have died from fentanyl. On Thursday night, an author and mother who lost two of her sons to the drug spoke to parents and students.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has been weighing whether to stock Narcan in schools. Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden is in favor of the idea, and so is state Attorney General Josh Stein.

According to our news partners at Axios Charlotte, CMS gets Narcan from the county health department, but so far does not have a timeline for getting the opioid-reversal drug into school buildings. In order for that to happen, the school board would have to pass a new policy.

South Carolina passed a state law this year that allows schools to keep Narcan on hand. Nurses and other school staff are trained on how to administer it.

“We could have a child who mistakenly takes something of their parents,” Dawn MacAdams of the SC Association of School Nurses said. “We could have an adult, an employee, a visitor. And this way, we will be able to intervene if we suspect they’re the victim of an opioid overdose.”

The new law has already paid off, as a York County school resource officer had to administer Narcan to a student, saving their life.

Related: Inside the fight to place Narcan in schools to prevent overdose deaths

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