Narcan to be stored at GRC, Phoenix

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Clark County Board of Education voted Tuesday night to approve the storage of Naloxone, also known as Narcan, at George Rogers Clark High School and Phoenix Academy to be used in the event of an overdose on school grounds.

Narcan is an emergency treatment designed to revive someone who is suffering from an opioid overdose. It comes in the form of a nasal spray designed to stabilize a patient so additional medical help may be given.

Several members of the public attended the meeting to encourage the board to approve the measure, including Public Health Director Scott Lockard and members of the Clark County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP).

“Narcan is an important tool to have in schools,” Lockard said. “Schools are a microcosm of our society. Drug dealers try to sell to students and get them hooked, and Narcan helps to stabilize an individual so that EMS can get them necessary medical attention.”

Greg Hollon, director of student services and personnel, said before bringing the decision before the board, district staff conducted a survey of students in grades 7 through 12 as well as students from Phoenix.

The survey’s results showed 79 students admitted to abusing a prescription medication. Additionally, 279 said they had used illicit street drugs. More than 650 students said they knew a classmate who had either abused a prescription medication or had used heroin.

Hollon said he is not sure about the accuracy of the numbers — stating that some students may have answered a certain way because they thought it would make them look cool while others may have not disclosed information about their drug habits or the habits of their classmates.

One thing he said was startling, however, is when asked how old students were when they began using drugs, the average age was consistently 11 to 12 years old.

“These are our kids, this is real data,” Hollon said.

Board members approved the measure 4-1, with Judy Hicks voting against it citing concerns over liability.

Board members additionally discussed whether or not Narcan should be available at athletic events and stored at Robert D. Campbell Junior High School. However, the final decision Tuesday was kept to GRC and Phoenix.

Hollon said the school employees expected to be trained in the use of Narcan include administrators, nurses, school resource officers and coaches.

Contact Seth Littrell at seth.littrell@winchestersun.com.