Narcan to be distributed at SCUSD schools

Narcan will be distributed to all schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District starting Monday, following a unanimous vote from the board of education.

This decision comes after a state alert about a “new trend called ‘Rainbow Fentanyl,’” an extremely potent synthetic opioid, a district press release stated.

According to the Sacramento County Opioid Coalition, there were 174 opioid-related deaths in Sacramento County last year in those as young as 15 years old.

“Tonight, the SCUSD School Board took action against the frightening and heartbreaking opioid epidemic,” said SCUSD Board President Christina Pritchett in the press release. “I am proud that NARCAN will be distributed at all SCUSD school sites, and that staff will be trained to use this life-saving medication. This will help save lives in the event of an opioid-related overdose or poisoning on a school campus.”

What is Narcan?

Narcan, a brand of naloxone, is a medication that is used to stabilize a person during a drug overdose. It can be administered in three different forms: a single shot; an auto-injectable, which looks a lot like an epipen; and a nasal spray.

The district will be distributing nasal spray. According to the Narcan website, this method can reverse an overdose in two to three minutes.

The school board also stated that schools in Sacramento have “a number of emergency and rescue measures at their disposal, including AEDs to restart heart rhythms, Epi-Pen auto-injectors in the case of a severe allergic reaction, and now Narcan nasal spray.”

How will Narcan be administrated at schools?

Staff will receive training on administration, the press release stated.

The board policy states: “When allowed by law, medication prescribed to a student by an authorized health care provider may be administered by a school nurse or, when a school nurse or other medically licensed person is unavailable and the physician has authorized administration of medication by unlicensed personnel for a particular student, by other designated school personnel with appropriate training.”

Awareness is important

The district is urging parents to have open and honest conversations with their children about the risks of taking pills that are not administered by a trained professional.

“Rainbow fentanyl—fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes—is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram in an August press release.

The different colors in the pills can sometimes pass as candy, which is why the district also encourages parents to show their kids what the drug looks like so that they can be aware.