CINCINNATI (FOX19) - As the heroin epidemic grows, U.S. Senators are pushing for schools to stock up on a potentially life-saving overdose antidote.
There's a growing risk of overdoses occurring at school, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown pointed out in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services. Brown wants the department to help schools obtain the drug Naloxone and train nurses and teachers in its use.
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, can instantly reverse an opioid overdose.
In most schools across the country, nurses can do nothing but call 911 and wait for paramedics if a student overdoses. Laws in several states, including Kentucky, allow school employees to obtain and administer Narcan.
"The majority of these states, however, do not provide any funding for the acquisition of naloxone, or training in its use, and few schools have decided to maintain a supply at this time," said Brown.
A student in Pennsylvania overdosed at school earlier this year and was taken to the hospital. The student survived, but Brown uses the incident to point out why schools should stock up on Narcan.
"We need to use every resource available to save young lives. Timely administration of naloxone during an overdose can mean the difference between life and death," said Brown. "The Department of Health and Human Services should do what it can to help schools seeking to purchase and administer this medication."
The National Association of School Nurses supports Narcan use in schools.
Brown, along with other U.S. Senators, want to fund school Narcan programs through existing grants within the HHS.