Alexandria school board to vote on making Narcan available in schools

The Alexandria, Virginia, school board this week will introduce a policy update that would enable school nurses and other trained employees to administer Narcan in the case of a drug overdose.

The proposed addition to the city’s policy would enable “any school nurse, other School Board employees or individuals, contracted by the School Board to provide school health services, or an employee or other person acting on behalf of the School Board who has completed a training program may possess and administer naloxone or other opioid antagonist for overdose reversal.”

ALXNow first reported plans of the discussion.

A school system spokeswoman said there currently isn’t a policy in place regarding administration of Narcan.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the update during its Thursday meeting. It would go into effect immediately, if approved.

In a school board document, the board said, “Administration of Naloxone can be life-saving when in need of such medication.”

Former Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill in 2019 that added school nurses, local health department employees assigned to public schools and other school employees to a list of individuals who can possess and administer opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone after going through a training program.

In 2015, city officials established an Opioid Work Group to “eliminate opioid misuse and its harmful effects.” The school system is among the group’s participants.

In a separate announcement on Wednesday, the City of Alexandria reported a spike in fentanyl-related overdoses, particularly among school-aged kids who say they used “a little blue pill” they think is Percocet.

Alexandria Police Capt. Monica Lisle said there were two reported overdose juvenile deaths last week in a “neighboring jurisdiction” involving that type of pill.

“We are asking for the public’s help in understanding the prevalence of opioid overdoses, how they can be prevented, and to speak with youth regarding the dangers of all illicit drugs, particularly these ‘little blue pills,'” Lisle said in a news release.

In the same release, police said, 12 opioid overdoses were reported in the city between April 1 and May 1. Six of those occurred in people under 17. None of the 12 resulted in death.

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Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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