Opioid crisis: Putting a life-saving drug in schools
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
An escalating public health crisis is wrecking havoc on communities across the country. Opioid addiction has become so bad that some cities are pushing to get narcan in middle and high schools.
Narcan is a medication that can treat narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. Schools across the nation are pushing for the live-saving drug as the epidemic continues to grow.
School officials in Akron, Ohio are leading the way with the push for narcan. The schools district reports no students have overdosed on school property, but they want to be prepared. A proposed policy on the table in Akron would allow the nasal spray form of the opioid antidote in public schools.
As of right now, there is no word on if any South Florida schools are going to follow the trend.
Florida Governor Rick Scott will host a ceremonial bill signing in West Palm Beach Tuesday for a new opioid legislation. CBS12 plans to ask him if any local school district officials are seeking to put naracan in schools.
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The bill (HB 477) creates new penalties and enhances existing penalties relating to synthetic opioid drugs, including fentanyl. The move is an effort to help communities fight the national opioid epidemic, and keep Florida families, and visitors safe.
Back in February, a Palm Beach County commissioner asked Governor Scott to declare a public health emergency to help Florida jurisdictions deal with problems related to opioid abuse. The governor did declare a public health emergency in May. This allowed to the state to accept a $54 million federal grant awarded in April for prevention, treatment, and recovery services over the next two years.
In Palm Beach County, there were 394 deaths cause by prescription drugs in 2015, which is a 13 percent increase from 2014.