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EACS discusses stocking Narcan

September 19, 2018

Just as it stocks schools with medication for allergic reactions, East Allen County Schools is considering equipping its buildings with a drug that can combat an opioid overdose.

Administration pitched to the school board Tuesday a proposal to stock the drug, sold under the brand name Narcan, in all school clinics.

A program through manufacturer Adapt Pharma would provide the high schools with an initial two units of the nasal spray at no cost. The district would purchase additional doses so all schools would have at least two units and would replenish as needed, said Michelle Wenglikowski, director of student services.

She compared stocking Narcan to having an automated external defibrillator.

A two-dose package costs about $75, and the medication expires after about 18 months, she said.

School resource officers, or SROs, already carry Narcan nasal spray, but Wenglikowski said there’s value in also having school nurses trained to administer the lifesaving medication.

“Since SROs are not available on site in every building every day and some EACS buildings are located farther away from emergency responders, having a second staff member trained and prepared to respond to opioid emergencies offers potential lifesaving value at a time the nation is experiencing an unprecedented opioid epidemic,” according to information provided to the board.

Opioids include heroin and narcotic pain medication, such as codeine and fentanyl.

Aspects of the discussion seemed to surprise board members, with at least one of whom exclaiming, “Oh, wow,” to herself.

People other than students could benefit. Adults : such as parents and other family members : might need Narcan while visiting the schools, Wenglikowski said.

“I appreciate this,” board member Terry Jo Lightfoot said. “I think this is really good.”

The board did not vote on the issue because it was presented for discussion only.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with Super Shot to provide on-site shot clinics on school grounds outside school hours to ensure students are properly immunized.

Immunizations are usually due when students enter kindergarten, sixth grade and 12th grade. Students can be excluded from school until their immunization documentation is current. That’s what East Allen wants to prevent.

Principals have shown strong interest in offering the clinics, which will start in October at parent-teacher conferences, Wenglikowski said.

The hope is to offer the service at registration next school year, she said.

She noted there is no cost to East Allen.

asloboda@jg.net

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