Apr 18, 2023 - News

North Texas schools adding opioid overdose treatment

A photo of Narcan

Narcan has been FDA approved for over-the-counter use. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Several North Texas school districts are planning to add Narcan, an opioid overdose treatment, to campuses.

Driving the news: Gov. Greg Abbott this month announced a $10 million statewide awareness campaign in an effort to reduce fentanyl poisonings. The state is also distributing 20,000 doses of Narcan to sheriff's offices in all 254 Texas counties.

The big picture: Deaths from fentanyl — an opioid prescribed for severe pain management — are increasing in Texas, prompting Sen. John Cornyn to call for a "war on fentanyl."

  • The average number of opioid-related deaths in Texas increased from 114 per month in 2019 to 209 per month in 2021, according to state health data.

Zoom in: Three Carrollton students died from fentanyl overdoses, and at least six other middle and high school students in the district have overdosed since September.

  • On April 5, a Carrollton middle school student was revived by Narcan after an apparent opioid overdose.
  • The district has two doses of Narcan on every elementary campus and eight doses on all secondary campuses.

State of play: Dallas ISD is in the process of putting Narcan in schools, but that likely won't happen before mid-May, district officials said.

  • In Arlington, school district health officials are researching the possibility of providing the treatment on campuses.
  • Frisco ISD already has Narcan on all campuses. Richardson ISD's school resource officers have the treatment, and the district is planning to add doses to every campus clinic by the end of the school year, per WFAA.
  • All nurses in Fort Worth ISD will be trained in the fall on how to administer Narcan, and two nasal inhalers of Narcan will be available on all campuses.

Of note: The City of Denton will receive about $25,000 a year for 18 years from Johnson & Johnson in an opioid settlement. The funds will be used, in part, to buy opioid overdose treatments, per the Denton Record-Chronicle.

What we're watching: State legislators are considering several bills that would require teachers and school staff to know how to reverse opioid overdoses with Narcan and other treatments.


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