In a 5-1 vote this week, the Akron school board will move forward with a plan to keep Narcan kits in every middle school and high school. Narcan, known otherwise as naloxone, is the overdose-reversal drug that is used with increasingly frequency by emergency medical personnel. The Akron Beacon Journal first reported
School resource officers will carry two doses of Narcan with them during school hours, leaving them in a secure location in the schools' clinics at the end of the day. They will be trained in administering the nasal spray.
Akron, of course, is one of several hotbeds in Ohio's ongoing and worsening opiate addiction crisis.
As the ABJ relays from Monday's meeting:
“Whether it’s fire hydrants or anything else that we put in place to be proactive, I mean, you put those things there hoping that you’ll never have to use them, but you want them there if you do,” said school board President Patrick Bravo. “A lot of people ask why, and maybe the better question is, why not?”
School board member Debbie Walsh had said of her lone dissenting vote that the Narcan supply measure sends a bad signal to students and to the community — namely, the perception of a guaranteed safety net as the crisis grows more and more prevalent.
Adapt Pharma has been distributing
free kits of Narcan to high schools and universities for the past few years. In Akron, the middle school Narcan supplies will run the district $1,000.
Akron currently enrolls 21,000 students across the district. The policy will go into effect in the fall.