D51 to have Narcan available in all schools

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 10:52 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - We’re following up after finding out schools like Grand Junction’s didn’t stock an opioid overdose medication, and we’ve got new information. Opioid antidotes, like Narcan, will now be available on school grounds with trained personnel or nurses to administer them.

Narcan comes as a nasal spray, reversing the effects of an overdose. “I think the important thing is that it is actually a problem in Mesa County as it is in Colorado and in the whole country, and I’m really happy that we’re going to have this on our campus so that if we need it, we can save lives,” said Katie McKew, coordinator of nursing and health services.

McKew said the Mesa County Valley School District 51 approved the addition of opioid antagonists last month. It followed in the footsteps of 32 districts and charters in the state. “We will have it at every school in the district, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools,” added McKew.

That will come at no cost, thanks to a bill passed in Colorado in 2019 called the Naloxone Bulk Purchase Fund. It allows groups, like school districts, to get their hands on naloxone at low or no cost. So far, 83 charters, schools, or districts are in the process of enrolling in the naloxone bulk purchase fund.

The district will receive the supply of the medicine in the upcoming weeks. “The nurses are going to be training certain people in the school setting who are going to be trained to be kind of to respond in emergencies with Narcan.”

McKew said the nasal spray is completely safe and helps the person start breathing again. “If we give Narcan to someone who is actually not having an overdose of an opioid, it’s not going to hurt them. Say they maybe had, you know, just drank too much and passed out, and they got Narcan. It’s not going to hurt them.” But advocates will tell you one thing will hurt: an opioid overdose.

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