Schools will have naloxone on hand in case of opioid overdose
Naloxone will be available at all school sites
During the first reading of a new school policy this week, St. Mary’s school board members hashed out how staff are preparing to treat potential opioid overdoses on school grounds.
Spurred by Maryland’s Heroin and Opioid Education and Community Action Act of 2017, the law requires school boards to have a policy in place regarding education about opioids, as well as being ready to respond to overdose incidents.
The draft school policy states that staff are to have naloxone at all schools to treat students or anyone else on school grounds who is experiencing an overdose.
A portion of the draft policy states parents will be notified of the policy through the student handbook.
Board member Rita Weaver, who has worked as a nurse, asked if the medication would only be available at the high schools.
Patricia Wince, public schools’ supervisor of school nurses, said two packs of naloxone would be available at every public school, including elementary and middle schools.
When the medication is within three months of expiring, Wince said “we will give [those] to the health department to be given to the sheriff’s office” to be used in the community.
“Tragically,” Superintendent Scott Smith said.
Wince said her staff have been trained to properly administer naloxone, and school staff can volunteer to be trained by school nurses.
“We’re slowly building the number of staff” who could respond to an opioid overdose, she said.
Board member Jim Davis asked if the dosage amount can be altered, or if there is potential to misuse the naloxone.
Wince said users can’t alter the dosage, and the applicator can “only give that exact dosage.”
Board member Cathy Allen, who also used to work as a nurse, said naloxone is “relatively benign” if used on someone who isn’t experiencing an overdose.