‘We should absolutely take advantage’: CMS leaders weigh expanded access to Narcan in schools

Teachers and staff are currently not permitted to administer the opioid reversal drug.
CMS is weighing whether to train school staff in how to administer the opioid-reversing drug.
Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 5:58 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Earlier this month, the Biden Administration urged districts across the country to stock schools with Naloxone, the opioid reversal drug commonly referred to as Narcan.

Since then, the CMS Board of Education has started to weigh whether to train school staff in how to administer the drug. On Tuesday morning, district leaders will meet to discuss the idea.

A Naloxone nasal spray is already in most CMS schools, including every high school. School resource officers, employed by CMPD, are trained and equipped with the medication. However, no teachers or nurses are currently allowed to use it. During its meeting Tuesday morning, the CMS policy committee will vote on whether to change that.

If the committee votes yes, the decision will then go before the full school board at the next board meeting on Dec. 12.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department would supply the medication and provide the training.

The district and the health department are discussing what the rollout would look like, including which school staff members would be trained, how many, and how many canisters each school would get.

Board of Education member Stephanie Sneed said she expects the measure to be approved unanimously.

”We know that community issues become school issues,” Sneed said. “My understanding is that there’s an opportunity for the county to provide Narcan and we should absolutely take advantage of that because we know that overdoses, particularly with fentanyl is a community issue.”

According to CMPD, fentanyl overdoses are up 20 percent this year compared to last year.

If Naloxone is given to someone experiencing an overdose, it can save their life. If they are not experiencing an overdose, Naloxone will not hurt them.

A bill recently passed in South Carolina, allowing teachers and staff to be trained in administering Naloxone. That law went into effect back in August.

South Carolina DHEC is in charge of providing South Carolina schools with Naloxone and as well as training staff. Already this year, a resource officer used Naloxone to revive a student who was overdosing.

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

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