BY: Citizens Count
Salem’s school district recently joined several other New Hampshire school districts in stocking the overdose emergency medication, Narcan. In cases of opioid overdoses, Narcan can be administered via nasal spray or injection to reverse the respiratory arrest brought about by an opioid overdose.
“We want to be a responsible school district and we want to be able to respond responsibly if an emergency does happen.”
- Salem School District Board Chair, Patricia Corbett
The list price for a Narcan injection kit is about $125, though some purchasers, such as first responders, can get discounts.
Mixed opinion about Narcan in schools
Even though rising opioid abuse has increased pressure on schools to take action, not all schools are convinced that having Narcan on premises is a good idea.
Those against stocking Narcan point to the fact that school nurses are not equipped to deal with a patient, who once revived, may become violent. There is also an increased risk of liability should something go wrong. Detractors add that most opioid overdoses occur in individuals over 18 so there is no need for Narcan kits in high schools and middle schools; the money to purchase these kits could be better spent on addiction prevention education.
Proponents of stocking Narcan at schools argue that the kits are merely a safeguard should an overdose occur. They point out that risky behavior increases as students move from seventh to eighth grade or middle school to high school, and state that if one student’s life is saved because of Narcan, then having the medication on hand is well worth the cost.
Do you think New Hampshire schools should stock Narcan? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.