N.J. Students May Be Required to Learn How to Administer NARCAN
NARCAN (naloxone) which is used to treat over doses caused by opioids will be in all high schools in New Jersey for nurses to administer. A bill was passed in June by New Jersey lawmakers requiring this. According to WHYY, some Democrats in the state Assembly have introduced a new bill that would require students from 7th-12th grade to be trained in administering NARCAN.
The staggering statistics of deaths by overdoses in New Jersey this year had prompted the decision by Assembly member Yvonne Lopez to write this new bill. In New Jersey alone, more than 1,500 people have died from overdoses this year.
Juan Carlos Nordelo, legislative director for Lopez stated, "Our students need to know how to recognize the signs of an overdose, to contact a first responder, and — should an opioid antidote be available — be able to safely administer that treatment."
In his statement Nordelo points to parents, grandparents, and other students as some examples of who the students may need to administer the NARCAN to.
An argument has been made that if the students are trained in administering the antidote it may encourage experimenting with opioids.
There are many other states that have NARCAN in schools, however it is uncommon for the students to go through a form of training.
The bill would mandate the training be alongside teaching students the risk of opioid use.
President of the National Association of School Nurses, Nina Fekaris, believes that training students will empower them and not encourage use.