CAPE CORAL, Fla – The Florida Senate Education Committee passed a bill Tuesday to help combat the rise in opioid overdoses among students.
The bill would allow Florida schools to keep and administer naloxone on campus. Naloxone, also known by the common brand name Narcan, is an opioid-blocking drug that's used to reverse the life-threatening effects of overdoses.
The bill received unanimous support after an analysis of it showed a harsh reality: 25 Florida children died of opioid overdoses in 2017.
A change like this is something groups like the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) have long supported implementing into school emergency preparedness and response plans.
It has argued that in the event of an overdose on campus, being able to manage it at the school while waiting for EMS to arrive is crucial because every moment matters when it comes to saving a student's life.
To put the issue into perspective, in 2017 our state saw more than 3,000 opioid overdose deaths. 25 of those were children and more than 200 were people under the age of 24.
Florida schools would not be required to keep the overdose antidote on campus. But those who choose to would work with a licensed doctor to develop a school protocol for using it.