Amid heroin scourge, schools stock up on overdose antidote

In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 photo a nasal administered dose of Narcan is seen in school nurse Kathleen Gage's Pilgrim High School office Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Warwick, R.I. A new state law requires middle schools and high schools to stock Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an overdose of drugs such as heroin or prescription painkillers.(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Schools aren’t stocking up just on pencils, books and computers anymore. This year, count a new tool at many schools nationwide: the heroin-overdose antidote naloxone (nuh-LAHKS’-ohn).

Many schools are now keeping naloxone on hand, and some states allow or encourage schools to stock it. One, Rhode Island, now requires it for all middle, junior high and high schools.

A survey of 81 Rhode Island school nurses who participated in a naloxone training program last year found that 43 percent of high school nurses who responded reported that students in their schools were abusing opioids.

Fifteen said they had to call 911 at least once in the past three years for suspected student substance use or overdose.

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