A statewide initiative from the Alabama Department of Education and Alabama Department of Public Health now allows schools to administer naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, according to a news release.
Lee County Schools and Auburn City Schools recently implemented this initiative, which can potentially save the lives of high school students.
Lee County Schools Superintendent James McCoy said he believes it is important for medical staff to be prepared to address as many health issues as possible.
“We are aware that this life-saving drug and procedure is not mandated at this time, but we elected to begin the training process,” he said. “We provide the most current training available to our staff.”
McCoy said although Lee County Schools has seen no evidence of opioid use in the student body, he believes staff should be able to respond quickly in any situation.
“Although we have not seen any evidence of opioid abuse in our schools, we recognize it is a national crisis,” he said. “We want to give our medical staff as much time as possible to become familiar with the symptoms and learn how to administer the naloxone correctly.”
Brenda Lindahl, nurse administrator for Auburn City Schools, said nine Auburn City School faculty members have already been trained to administer naloxone.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
“They had to perform a return demonstration and reiterate back to me what some possible symptoms of an opioid overdose are,” she said.
Faculty must be careful when administering the drug because it can cause the recipient to go into cardiac arrest. All faculty that are trained to administer the drug are also CPR certified.
When the drug is administered, emergency services must be called, Lindahl said.
Auburn High School offers a course that warns students of the dangers of drug use and encourages them to make wise lifestyle choices, she said.
“The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education and the Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education are utilized,” Lindahl said. “Teachers include healthy living that also coincides with making good choices and encompasses drug prevention and education.”
While raising awareness of the opioid crisis plays a critical role in educating students on drug abuse, Lindahl wants to be prepared should a student overdose.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman