Health experts explain role of Narcan, push to get it into schools across Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Naloxone, more commonly called “Narcan,” is a medication that repeats the effects of an opioid on your system. Gregory Lakin, with Dr the Center for Change, said it was simple to use and could be a determinant between life and death.
He said shooting the drug into a nostril is usually all it takes to work, but with fentanyl, a second shot may be necessary two to three minutes later.
“But it can really save lives many times over,” Drs. Lakin.
And as schools, law enforcement offices and other organizations use the drug, or consider it, the question arises: “is there a risk?”
“If you don’t have any opioids in your system, it won’t do any kind of side effect or any kind of damage,” Drs. Lakin. “So, it’s a safe drug, and it’s only designed for those with opioid overdoses.”
Witness News also spoke with Kansas School Nurses Association President Rhonda Hutchinson who stressed that schools have available Narcan supplies. He said not enough districts have medicine on site, and that needs to be changed because every second counts.
“These medications are our first line of defense until the ambulance gets there,” Hutchinson said.
He said EMS is often not fast enough in situations involving opioid overdoses and believes every Kansas school district should provide Narcan.
“We have Kansas law that allows Narcan to be distributed to pharmacies from 2019,” Hutchinson said. “However, a lot of schools don’t do that, I’m not sure why. It’s possible they don’t know how to do it, or they can’t do that.”
We know of some school districts in Kanas that remain in Narcan. These districts include Mais and Haysville in the Wichita area.
“Student safety is our priority, and preparing for emergencies is an important part of that,” a statement from the Haysville school district said. “It’s an unfortunate reality that we can identify a student who has experienced an opioid overdose. Creating an emergency protocol that includes Narcan is essential to saving lives.”
Wichita Public Schools, Kansas’s largest school district, said it is considering expanding Narcan’s presence in its schools for next year.
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