Schools in the Montpelier-Roxbury Public School District have begun keeping supplies of the overdose reversal drug naloxone.
Superintendent Libby Bonesteel said the drug, also known as Narcan, will allow school personnel to quickly respond to opioid overdoses by students, school visitors and other community members.
“This building is the center of the community,” Bonesteel said. “After school hours, the community is using it for a variety of things from bagpipes to sports to meetings, so people are in and out of this building quite a bit.”
The naloxone was supplied by Central Vermont Substance Abuse Services and is securely stored in the nurses’ offices in each school. The drug can save a life within seconds.
Matthew Knisely, the school’s resource officer, carries his own supply of naloxone. He says, with heroin getting stronger and more deadly with the addition of fentanyl, it makes sense to have it on hand.”
“It’s amazing how quickly people can come back from an overdose situation whether it’s an accidental exposure or somebody using drugs,” said
Bonesteel says school staff members , including the school nurse, the principal and building custodians, will be trained to administer the drug.
“Knowing a lot of people are struggling with this issue, we can provide something in the vicinity of where they may be to help them,” Bonesteel said.
According to the CDC, there were 124 opioid related deaths in Vermont in 2017.