The Alexandria City School Board voted Thursday to make Narcan immediately available in city public schools.
Narcan, or naloxone, is a prescription nasal spray that is designed to reverse opioid overdoses in minutes.
A school official told WTOP Narcan will be available in all ACPS schools, where nurses and other designated staff would be trained to administer the medication.
The potentially lifesaving medicine will be provided free of charge by the Virginia Department of Health.
At Thursday’s school board meeting, Dr. Julie Crawford, ACPS chief of student services and equity, said getting the policy implemented had been in the works for a while, but it’s never been timelier.
Alexandria City Police this week warned of a spike in fentanyl-related overdoses, particularly among school age kids.
“Nothing is safe to take if it is laced with fentanyl,” said Dr. Crawford. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a pill from a friend who you’ve known forever, someone who is walking down the street and offering you something free, nothing is safe right now.”
Alexandria Police said most juvenile overdose cases involved either smoking or ingesting a blue pill that’s being sold as the prescription painkiller, Percocet.
According to Captain Monica Lisle, Commander of Alexandria’s Criminal Investigations Division, there were two reported overdose deaths of school age kids last week in a “neighboring jurisdiction” involving that type of pill.
Police also said 12 opioid overdoses were reported in Alexandria between April 1 and May 1, half occurred in people under 17. None of the 12 resulted in death.
Earlier this week, police in Prince William County, said law enforcement working with the Drug Enforcement Agency arrested four men and seized 5,000 suspected fentanyl-laced Percocet pills.