With a growing epidemic of heroin and opioid overdoses, school nurses across the state will now be allowed to use a lifesaving drug. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley says the State Board of Regents recently approved a measure for the use of Narcan in schools.
A new state regulation from the State Education Department and Department of Health. It will allow school nurses and other trained school employees at a public, private, charter or BOCES school to administer Narcan to revive a person in an emergency.
"And it really is to reduce harm to our children," said Assunta Ventresca, Director of Health Related Services for the Buffalo Public School District.
The law allowing schools to have the drugs on site in the event of an emergency. It's optional, but the Buffalo District will develop a policy to implement the rule.
"And I will say that we're considering certainly having our school nurses administer the medication and store it and track it, and be the key person in the school," said Ventresca.
The policy would go before the school board for review. "So I think they will be supportive of protecting our children from opioid overdoes," said Ventresca.
The Erie County Health Department would provide training to the district. Ventresca tells WBFO News, as far as she is aware of, there have been no incidents of overdoses in the city schools. But state wide students, who admitted in a Youth Risk Behavior Survey to using heroin, has more than doubled in recent years.
"I think it's a necessary piece. I hope we never have to use it," stated Ventresca.