HomeGeorgia NewsGeorgia Senator proposes bill for Narcan in schools to counter overdoses

Georgia Senator proposes bill for Narcan in schools to counter overdoses

Buford, Georgia – Georgia Senator Clint Dixon has proposed a proactive measure to combat the increase in student overdoses. Recognizing the severity of this growing crisis, particularly following a series of overdoses at Berkmar High School, Sen. Dixon is advocating for a new bill that could empower teachers and school staff with the tools and authority to administer life-saving measures in critical situations.

Addressing the Overdose Crisis in Schools

The core of Sen. Dixon’s proposed legislation revolves around equipping educators and school staff with naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, and empowering them to administer it in cases of overdose. Naloxone is known for its effectiveness in reversing the effects of opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone. The urgency of this measure is underscored by the alarming spike in teen overdoses nationwide, with the CDC reporting a 94% increase among 14- to 18-year-olds from 2019 to 2020, followed by another 20% rise by 2021.

The Berkmar High School incidents have spurred Gwinnett County schools to consider training in Narcan administration, following the lead of DeKalb schools. This initiative has transcended party lines, becoming a bipartisan issue in the legislative session.

Senator Dixon emphasizes that the bill aims to safeguard not only students who use drugs or battle addiction but also those who might accidentally be exposed to opioids. He pointed out the possibility of accidental overdoses, such as touching a contaminated surface, highlighting the need for immediate response measures in schools.

Another critical aspect of Dixon’s advocacy is the safety of naloxone as a response to medical emergencies that may mimic an overdose. He assures that there are no adverse side effects of administering Narcan, even if the emergency is not an overdose.

Gwinnett Schools has been considering Narcan training for teachers and staff since late last year. In a significant move to address the crisis, the “Take Back Berkmar” community event has been organized. This event, scheduled between 10 a.m. and noon on a Friday, will involve school officials, health department representatives, and local law enforcement, focusing on addressing the youth fentanyl crisis and reinforcing community efforts to combat this alarming trend.

Leander Thorne

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