School board still studying Narcan use in schools

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The Wilson County Board of Education is continuing discussions on the use of naloxone in some schools.

The use of naloxone, an opioid and heroin overdose antidote known by the brand name Narcan, was first proposed by the Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition on Aug. 21 and had been on the board’s agenda as an action item before being changed to a information item Monday night.

“We are asking the administration to move forward and to enter into discussion with legal counsel in regard to legal issues surrounding the Narcan utilization,” said Christine Fitch, board chairwoman.

Fitch said the discussions will be between the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Wilson County Schools Superintendent Lane Mills, schools legal counsel and the Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition.

“We are going forward to provide more information and to develop further a possible memorandum of understanding that would answer some of the questions that may arise,” Fitch said.

Fitch said the school board has not decided whether to move forward with the program.

“So this was just a discussion point,” Fitch said. “We have not said yea or nay, so action on this will come at a future time.

Erin Day, director of the Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition, said the organization is suggesting that the county middle and high schools consider placing one naloxone kit in each school.

The drug is administered through the nasal membrane. Intranasal kits cost about $75 each.

The coalition has funded the kits through money from the Lazarus Project and through funding from the Healthcare Foundation of Wilson, according to Day.

The coalition has provided 192 kits that have been used by the Wilson Police Department, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and the Wilson County Health Department in response to recent opioid overdoses.

According to information from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, naloxone is an “opiate antagonist that temporarily binds to the same brain receptors as opiods” and “blocks the effects of opioids in the brain and restores breathing to a person experiencing an opioid overdose.”

According to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, unofficial “raw data” indicate that in the central region, which includes Wilson County, out of 17 law enforcement agencies, four school system did provide naloxone in schools for opioid overdose through school resource officers and none reported having a naloxone program through the law enforcement agency.

Some 13 law enforcement agencies did not provide naloxone in schools for opioid overdoses through a school resource officer or a naloxone program. There were no instances of naloxone being administered at school.

In other business, the board approved an auction of surplus items to be held at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 4 at Liberty Warehouse at 1723 Goldsboro St. SW. Items to be sold include vans, trucks, cars, buses, mowers, air conditioning units and food service items.