School Nurses To Carry Narcan For Opioid Emergencies in SC

2 Min Read Published August 16, 2023
School Nurses To Carry Narcan For Opioid Emergencies in SC

About House Bill 4122

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster recently signed into law House Bill 4122, which will allow schools in the state to stock the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, commonly known as Narcan. 

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Supporters Say Narcan Will Save Lives

The Charleston County School District says they want to be proactive in case of an opioid emergency at their schools. 

“We have not had any death, of course, in our school district from opioid overdose,” Nitz said. “But there have been some issues with some children that may have taken a substance and come to the nurse feeling funny, feeling different, having signs and symptoms. So, we want to be prepared. We don’t want to lose a life,” said Ellen Nitz, the head of nursing for the school district.

The Charleston County School District will now require all school nurses to have Narcan ready in case of an opioid overdose. 

The National Association of School Nurses released a position statement endorsing access to naloxone for school nurses to use for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose.

“The school nurse is essential to the school team responsible for developing and implementing emergency response procedures. School nurses in this role should facilitate access to naloxone for quick response in the management of opioid-related overdoses in the school setting,” reads the statement.

The LA Times reported that in Los Angeles Unified Schools, students will be able to carry Narcan at school. 

Training Required for Administering Narcan

The law requires any school personnel authorized to administer Narcan to students or staff to first complete training on properly dispensing the medication. The state health department will develop online training programs and materials for school nurses and other approved staff.

Schools To Stock Overdose Drug Narcan On-Site

With the passage and signing of this bill, South Carolina schools will now be permitted to stock the overdose reversal drug Narcan and have properly trained personnel on-site with the ability to administer it in the event of an opioid overdose emergency. Supporters say this move could help ensure that any overdoses that do occur at schools can be rapidly responded to, and lives potentially saved.

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