School nurses will soon use Narcan, the opiate reversal drug, to revive Stockton Unified students found unconscious due to suspected opioid overdoses.

Under a policy approved by the SUSD board March 20, Narcan kits will be sent to all SUSD schools. School nurses will be trained to administer Narcan, also known as Naloxone Hydrochloride. 

This drug will be available for emergency medical aid to any person suffering, or reasonably believed to be suffering, from an opioid overdose according to documents from the March 20 meeting.

Narcan taken within two to three minutes helps a person not breathing or responsive, to becoming responsive said Director of Health Services, Tara Iris.

Most school nurses already received Narcan training from University of the Pacific pharmacists, Iris said at the meeting.

“Unfortunately it’s really prevalent in our days now to be able to help save [students’] life and then follow normal 911 procedures,” Iris said. Narcan won’t affect anyone who receives it but didn’t need it, Iris said.

According to the California Department of Public Health in 2021, there were 224 fentanyl-related overdose deaths among teens, ages 15-19 years old, in California. Based on preliminary data, there were 6,843 opioid-related overdose deaths in California; 5,722 of these deaths were related to fentanyl.

Volunteers will be taken as a backup plan for when a nurse isn’t available on campus for a student or staff in need. “We’re working on that next step right now,” Iris said.

Board President AngelAnn Flores asked if the student’s parent would be notified whenever Narcan was used on a student.

Flores said she wants notifications sent out to parents whenever Narcan is administered “even if it’s in the middle of the night” to maintain transparency.

“What type of data is reported?” asked Board Vice President Kennetha Stevens. “So if it’s used on a student how do you report that? What’s the two-way communication like between the school and district?”

Like any other emergency on school grounds, 911 will be called as well as emergency contacts Iris said. The superintendent and assistant superintendent are made aware of the emergency as well.

“I get a report that pulls out everything,” Iris said, noting nurses always follow up on any ambulance call across the district. “Who was called, parents, what time, who gave it, who was there, what administrators were there, what hospital they went to.”

Motioned by Ray Zulueta and second by Cecilia Mendez, the use of Narcan in schools passed 7-0.

Now in schools, Narcan has been available over the counter since late March approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration. San Joaquin County Public Health Services also provides no-cost Nasal Spray Narcan.

“As nurses we are really excited,” Iris said, “Anything that can help save a life on our campus for any of our students or staff is high priority for us so we’re giddy.”
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