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The Wilson County Board of Education may consider adding naloxone kits in the county's public middle and high schools.
Erin Day, director of the Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition, addressed the board Monday night and made the proposal.
The coalition's mission is to reduce substance abuse among youth and adults.
"The Wilson County Schools has been a longstanding partner with the coalition," Day said. "The coalition is 10 years old and we have partnered with you from the beginning and we are very proud of that partnership."
Day presented a "proactive prevention and intervention strategy" to the board.
"The coalition would like to propose the idea of equipping your seven middle and five high schools with intranasal naloxone kits," Day said. "This will be a proactive initiative implemented in direct response to the opioid crisis here, statewide and nationwide."
The kits could be used just like other lifesaving equipment that is commonly employed.
"Just like you have defibrillators and EpiPens in your schools, you can have intranasal naloxone kits," Day said.
"Wilson County youth between the ages of 11 and 15 report the first use of prescription medication that is not theirs to be around 12 years old," Day said. "That does not mean they are dependent or have a substance abuse disorder, just a one-time use of something that's not theirs."
Naloxone is a reversal drug for opioid and/or heroin overdose.
"There is no effect on the body if one does not have opioid or heroin in their system," Day said. "There is no liability for administering the kits under the Good Samaritan law and other protections."
Needles are not used in the kits.
"It is simply a little cartridge that goes into the mucous membrane within the nasal cavity," Day said.
There is a one-to-two-year shelf life for the drug kits.
The coalition has purchased three times from the maker of the kits, Adapt Pharma, Day said. The organization has equipped the Wilson Police Department, Wilson County Sheriff's Office and the Wilson County Health Department with intranasal naxolone kits.
"We have a standing reputation for providing those to the community now," Day said. "It only seems fitting that your schools would be equipped with those kits. Just because you are right there and if it happens, you could potentially save a good 10 to 15 minutes to save someone's life."
According to Day, the suggestion that kits be offered to schools has been talked about at the Safety Impact Team meetings under the Youth Master Plan with Wilson 20/20 and Wilson County Schools as well as the Youth Master Plan's Health and Wellness Team meetings and quarterly coalition meetings.
"It has come up in several discussions," Day said.
"We would also provide a brief training to the middle and high school persons who would administer the drug through a partnership with the Wilson County Health Department and Wilson EMS," Day said.
Day provided board members with a fact sheet on naloxone.
"We have received this information and we now have options," said board Chairwoman Christine Fitch. "We have the option of myself responding to the concern on behalf of the board. We can direct the administration to respond to the concern. We may refer the matter to a board committee, refer the matter to the administration or place the matter of concern on the agenda for a future meeting. I think the best route would be to refer the matter to the administration for conversation and any follow-up that they feel would be necessary with this group if that is the consensus of the board."
After seeing approving nods from the board members, Fitch referred the matter to Superintendent Lane Mills and made no further comment other than to thank Day for the presentation.
In other action items, the board: