Legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman requiring schools to develop policies for the emergency administration of an opioid antidote to treat overdoses has passed the New Jersey Senate.
Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation requiring schools to develop policies for the emergency administration of an opioid antidote to treat overdoses passed the Senate. (Adapt Pharma)
“Teenagers are highly susceptible to the devastating impact of opioid abuse in New Jersey,” Bateman (R-16) said. “We can save lives by having Narcan on school grounds, or we can lose them waiting for an ambulance to arrive. It is time to arm the people we entrust to care for our children with the same lifesaving tool used by first responders in every county in this state.”
Bateman’s bipartisan bill, S-1830, permits school nurses to administer an opioid antidote to a student or staff member who overdoses at school. It also requires high schools, and permits any other schools, to maintain a supply of naloxone hydrochloride.
In the prior legislative session, Bateman worked to develop this legislation with Janice Wagner, Director of Intensive Care and Respiratory Therapy at Hunterdon Medical Center. His legislation amends the “Overdose Prevention Act” to include schools, school districts, and school nurses among the recipients that may be prescribed the opioid antidote naloxone hydrochloride through a standing order. Commercially available brands of the antidote include Evzio and Narcan.
Under the bill, the opioid antidotes must be accessible in the school during regular school hours and during school-sponsored functions that take place in the school or on school grounds adjacent to the school building.
The school nurse will have the primary responsibility for the emergency administration of an opioid antidote. However, school officials can designate additional employees who volunteer to administer an opioid antidote when the nurse is not physically present at the scene.
The New Jersey Department of Education would be responsible for establishing guidelines for school districts in developing policies associated with this legislation, including training requirements.
“I am proud to partner with people like Janice Wagner who recognized that we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the disease of addiction has found its way into our schools and classrooms,” Bateman added. “In 2016, Ocean County became the first county in New Jersey to supply all of its high school nurses with Narcan. It’s time for us to give every school statewide a legal right to save lives.”
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