HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Narcan legislation expanded in Virginia, allowing school nurses on July 1 to administer the drug if an opioid overdose ever occurs on school grounds.
Hanover and Goochland County Public Schools became the first in the area to jump on board and stock their school clinics with Narcan.
“It’s really about saving lives,” Chris Whitley, Hanover County Public Schools spokesman, told 8News.
Narcan is a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose. In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, school nurses are now allowed to administer it to students in an emergency. The new legislation isn’t required, it’s optional.
“The opioid crisis is an issue nationwide and certainly we are no exception,” Whitley said. “We had a decision to make and we decided to be proactive and now we stock Narcan in all 25 of our schools.”
Hanover and Goochland County Public Schools are the first districts in the area to stock Narcan. Both districts had to complete statewide training called “Revive.”
“You administer it nasally and ideally it’s going to bring them out of it in about three to five minutes,” said Goochland school nurse Kent Duffey, who completed the training already.
With a shelf life of two years and a price tag of roughly $78, the Narcan is kept in a locked medical box in the clinic, with other life saving medication, like EpiPens.
“Kids are curious, unfortunately they experiment and we need to make sure that if it were to happen we have some protection here at school,” Duffey told 8News.
8News reached out to other districts to learn about their plans regarding Narcan in their schools. Chesterfield said “they have no immediate plans to stock their schools” and Henrico schools said they’re monitoring the situation. Richmond Public Schools told 8News that they are currently reviewing requirements.
Hanover and Goochland said they have not yet used Narcan but both school districts are prepared.
“It’s one of those tools,” Whitley said, “you hope to have it if you ever need it, but you hope to never need it.”
You can find whether your local district carries Narcan in its schools below. 8News is still awaiting a response from Colonial Heights schools.
- AMELIA COUNTY: “All of our school division nurses have attended REVIVE training. Amelia County Public Schools is waiting for VDOE guidance and development of policy, so nurses do not administer Narcan at the present time. Amelia County Public Schools presently does not have Narcan in stock. However, each of our schools has a full-time SRO who is trained and authorized by Sheriff Department policy to administer Narcan accordingly.”
- CAROLINE COUNTY: “Currently Caroline County Public Schools is in the process of developing a policy and procedures according to the State Superintendent’s Memo 198-19, in order to allow our nurses to administer Naloxone. Additionally, all of our schools have school resource officers who are trained and authorized to administer Naloxone if necessary.”
- CHESTERFIELD COUNTY: “CCPS school nurses are not currently carrying Naloxone. We have had some general conversations but do not have any immediate plans to move in that direction.”
- DINWIDDIE COUNTY: “All of our school nurses have been trained and do have Naloxone in each of the schools. We are currently in the process of developing a school board policy so that it can be administered in the school if necessary.”
- GOOCHLAND COUNTY: “In Goochland County Public Schools we stock Naloxone in each of our school clinics according to guidelines for appropriate storage. All school nurses have met the training requirements for administration, and our lead nurse also has the credentials to train additional staff on how to administer Naloxone.”
- HANOVER COUNTY: “We stock Naloxone (AKA, Narcan®) at all twenty-five schools. All of our school nurses have completed the REVIVE! training that is offered by the Commonwealth of VA.”
- HENRICO COUNTY: “We don’t currently carry it, but we continue to monitor this as an issue.”
- PETERSBURG: “Currently, PCPS school nurses do not carry Naloxone. However, the School Resource Officers are trained to use and carry Naloxone. PCPS does not currently have a policy for carrying and administering this drug. The need for a Naloxone policy will be a topic for future discussions (upon assessment of the school and community need of such). Our health services coordinator/nursing supervisor is working closely with the Department of Health, VDOE School Health Specialist, and The Southside Virginia Emergency Crew to determine if and when Petersburg schools would need to carry Naloxone.”
- POWHATAN COUNTY: “Currently our school resource officers in Powhatan County Public Schools are the only ones allowed to administer narcan. Our nurses have been approved to be trained in the future, but have not been given access or training at this time.”
- RICHMOND CITY: “Although RPS does not currently use Narcan, the RPS Health Services Department is currently consulting with the Richmond City Health District to review the guidance documents to determine the appropriate use of Narcan in the school setting. Any action involving the use of Narcan would require school board review and approval.”