Naloxone Training May Be Required for NJ Students
This year, more than 1,500 people in New Jersey alone died from opioid overdoses – a staggering statistic that prompted the passing of a bill requiring all high schools in New Jersey to stock the life-saving drug naloxone (Narcan), to be administered by school nurses.
The bill was passed this June and now a new bill that would require students to start learning the process of administering naloxone as early as 7th grade, or age 12 or 13, has been referred to the Assembly Education Committee.
Assemblyperson Yvonne Lopez wrote the bill, which also included a call for student education on recognizing the warning signs of overdose and the dangers of addiction.
“Our students need to know how to recognize the signs of an overdose, to contact a first responder, and — should an opioid antidote be available — be able to safely administer that treatment,” Juan Carlos Nordelo, legislative director for Lopez, told WHYY.
Skeptics worry that this new bill will encourage even more kids to experiment with the highly addictive drug – but Nina Fekaris, President of the National Association of School Nurses, told the press that she believes it will do the opposite: empower students and encourage them not to use.
While other states have made similar measures to make sure naloxone is available in schools, there are no states to date that mandate student education and naloxone training.
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