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Columbia Public Schools carrying Narcan for opioid overdoses

Last month, the Board of Education approved a policy that allows the administration of emergency medications to children. Monday night the board will see the policy expanded to assist adults as well.

The district decided to stock Narcan for emergency use when a student, staff member or visitor to the district property is suspected of suffering from an opioid overdose.

Naloxone, or Narcan is a potential lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug. The medication can be injected into a person’s nose as they lie on their back. It can quickly reverse the effects of opioid overdose and return a patient’s breathing to normal, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

The policy states: “When available, naloxone may be administered in good faith and with reasonable care to a person (student, staff, visitor, other) believed to be suffering an opioid-related drug overdose, by school nurses or staff trained to recognize opioid-related overdoses, administer naloxone and notify EMS. Administration of naloxone shall occur in accordance with drug manufacturer guidelines. 911 must be contacted promptly after naloxone administration.”

In August, the Columbia Police Department was approved to began carrying Narcan. In January, the Columbia Fire Department starting carrying Narcan with them.

Editor’s note: In the previous version, it was stated that the department began issuing naloxone in August. The article has since been corrected to show the department was approved to have Narcan in August by the City Council.

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