By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
On Monday night, the Everett School Committee voted to adopt a new policy that will put into place the medicine and training necessary to allow Everett schools to join the citywide fight against the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.
The Everett Public School Department’s new Nasal Narcan Policy was established to create guidelines and regulations for the use of Nasal Narcan medicine in Everett schools by Everett School Department personnel, for the express purpose of helping to treat opioid overdoses and reduce fatal opioid overdoses.
Narcan is an inhibitor that blocks the brains receptors to the effects of opioids and some other drugs. A person who is experiencing an overdose can oftentimes have the effects of their opioid overdose reversed in a matter of minutes, if the proper dosage of Narcan is administered by someone who has been trained to do so.
Beginning a couple of years ago, Narcan became available in a form that could be administered by squirting it into the nostrils of an overdosing victim. The advent of nasal Narcan has made to easier to train more people in the proper use of Narcan and as a result Narcan has now become more widely available to be used by the public.
With the adoption of the new policy in Everett schools, Nasal Narcan kits will be deployed in each of the Everett Public Schools in three to four locations, with several people in each school being trained in administering the opioid antidote and given responsibility for ensuring that all kits are ready for use in an emergency situation.
The Nasal Narcan coordinator in each school will also be responsible for making sure that kits are replaced if used, expired or damaged in any way and that proper reporting procedures are followed each time Narcan is deployed in any school.
The procedure will be fully implemented once all school personnel in each building are properly trained, likely in the next few weeks.
The new School Department policy is just the latest effort in the city to see that opioid users are able to be saved, so they can be directed toward treatment programs that help them get sober.