Henderson Co. Board of Education approves emergency medical treatment use of Narcan
HENDERSON CO., Ky. (WFIE) - On Tuesday, the Henderson County Board of Education approved an emergency medical treatment policy for the use of Narcan.
Narcan is a potentially life-saving medication designed to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose in minutes.
Henderson County officials say a rapid spike in overdoses since the start of the year prompted a press conference from city and county officials on Friday.
“It just made sense that we get this back on the table and up for discussion and then move it onto our board members to approve,” said Megan Mortis, the public information officer for Henderson County Schools.
Henderson Police Chief Sean McKinney said on Friday that he hopes to begin work on intervention at the middle school level.
“We’re working on a program to take to the middle schools,” Chief McKinney said. “The schools working on this program, we’re looking at being a part of that.”
Although that would be the first middle school-based program, it’s not the first awareness program in the district.
The Women’s Addiction Recovery Manor, or WARM, has a course in the high school educating freshmen on the danger of drugs.
“Our clients are becoming younger and younger,” said WARM C.O.O. Nicole Frields. “It seems as though the fentanyl is a bit more potent now.”
Frields says last year, she recommended at least five teens to treatment.
“It really opened my eyes to the problem that we do have, and that our kids are actually being exposed to this,” Frields said.
Frields says that Narcan is used as a major stepping stone for a majority of addicts.
“A lot of times Narcan is the first step in getting them into treatment,” Frields said.
While the antidote may be life-saving, Chief McKinney wanted to share a sobering reminder.
“Narcan does not always work,” Chief McKinney said. “I don’t want the public to have a false sense of security.”
The staff within the district will be completing an online training course in the coming days to understand how to use the antidote.
“We want to prevent any type of tragedy from happening,” Frields said. “Obviously with adults as well, but we really want to focus on the students.”
Officials say school resource officers currently have access to Narcan through their respective law enforcement agencies.
They say staff will receive online training on how to use Narcan in more detail.
According to a release, Henderson County Schools will continue to provide resources and information for students and families through our guidance counselors and Family Resource Youth Services Centers.
The district is hoping to host another parent night in the coming months that will help answer questions and educate parents on what the district is doing.
The Henderson County Department of Health offers Narcan free of charge at their office.
Chief McKinney added that if you are looking to get involved, either as a citizen or local non-profit, you can call HPD.
WARM is in the process of building a Recovery Club to provide resources to those who need them 24/7. They also are working on starting up a grief counseling group that will look to help families who have lost loved ones.
We will let you know when these events and groups are set to meet.
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