By March 31, 2017 Read More →

WV House to vote on Narcan accessibility in schools

By LACIE PIERSON

The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the West Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday voted to make some changes to a bill that would allow teachers and school staff who are certified to carry and administer opioid antagonists in school facilities if they so choose.

The 100 members of the House will vote on Senate Bill 36 on Friday.

On Thursday, House members voted to remove language from the bill that limited the use of opioid antagonists to students and school personnel, meaning nurses and certified staff could use the treatment on any person who suffers an overdose on school property.

Under current state law, licensed school nurses are permitted to carry and administer opioid antagonists, more commonly known as naloxone and its brand name Narcan, if a county board of education permits it.

If approved by the House and Gov. Jim Justice, the measure would expand permission to carry naloxone to all 55 county districts, including private schools, without approval of the local board of education. It also would allow teachers who are properly certified to carry and administer naloxone.

The bill also would require school district officials to keep record of each use of naloxone.

The bill provides legal protection to nurses and staff who administer naloxone, and school officials would have to notify parents if naloxone was administered to their children at school.

Naloxone is an anti-opioid drug that can reverse the effects of a heroin or pain medication overdose by blocking the depression of brain and respiratory functions that are limited by those drugs.

All public schools in Cabell County have stocked naloxone since the 2015-16 school year through a waiver from the West Virginia Department of Education.

The West Virginia Senate approved Senate Bill 36 in a 34-0 vote on March 21.

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