Bill Would Allow Michigan Schools to Carry Naloxone

A new bill would allow schools to have access to the overdose reversal drug Naloxone, free of charge.

But not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

If it passes, the bill would offer districts Naloxone for free if they wanted to stock it at their schools.

“It was a shock at first. Mostly because overdoses haven’t been an issue here at the high school,” Cadillac High School Principal Shaina Squires said.

But overdoses are becoming a big problem across Northern Michigan.

That’s why state lawmakers sponsored a bill that would allow schools to decide whether they want to stock Naloxone.

The Cadillac High School principal says she would consider it… Just in case.

“I’m a very big believer in being proactive and not reactive. So if this is an opportunity to save a life someday, just like we always hope with an epipen or whatever that we don’t have to use it.”

A licensed nurse would have to train at least two employees how to administer the drug.

The fire marshal says this measure goes beyond heroin.

“This could be somebody that’s with a legitimate medical condition that’s on a long term pain management regimen that might end up having an overdose scenario,” Wolff said.

The lawmakers behind the bill call it a preventative measure — like epipens and AEDs.

But a potential downside is the long-term costs of always having naloxone on hand.

“Drugs have expirations. Then of course you’ve got increased training and awareness for your personnel and faculty. So there are some downsides to it, but it’s all about cost vs benefit.”

If it passes, Michigan would be the eighth state in the country to allow schools to access the drug. 

“Having that Narcan or medication to help protect them from that overdose, being in that location might be what saves them,” Wolff said.

The state senate unanimously approved the bill in October.

The state house is expected to vote after Thanksgiving. Here is a link to the bill.

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