In the wake of increased overdoses in North Texas, the Food and Drug Administration approved an over-the-counter opioid antidote on March 29, 2023. Frisco ISD is already prepared for overdose situations and is trained to administer the treatment.
As previously reported by Local Profile, in the past three years drug overdoses went up 571% in Collin County alone and Texas as a whole had a 30.6% increase in drug doses in 2020.
The recent fentanyl-related deaths of three teenage Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD students and one Plano ISD student opened Collin County residents’ eyes to how prevalent the issue is, especially in North Texas.
But some districts in North Texas are prepared. All nurses, clinic assistants and administrative staff at FISD were trained on the use of Narcan at all campuses before the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. School resource officers (SROs) are also trained by the police department and have carried Narcan for the past 3 years. Naloxone is readily available on all campuses in case of overdose incidents.
SROs in Plano, Murphy and Dallas also have access to Narcan and are trained to administer it during a suspected overdose.
“The health and safety of all Plano ISD students and staff remain our highest priority,” Assistant Director of Communications Zoheb Hassanali told Local Profile. “We remain committed to providing resources and education when it comes to drug awareness and prevention.”
During the next Plano ISD school board meeting, trustees will consider a policy revision that will allow the district to have opioid antagonist medication on hand for use by registered nurses.
Narcan, the recently approved nasal spray, will soon be more available for purchase for not only teachers but parents and students as well. The spray will come in a package of two, four-milligram doses. According to the FDA, the product can be used to reverse most opioid overdoses with a single dose, and is safe for anyone to use, including children and babies.
“Today’s approval of OTC naloxone nasal spray will help improve access to naloxone, increase the number of locations where it’s available and help reduce opioid overdose deaths throughout the country,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “We encourage the manufacturer to make accessibility to the product a priority by making it available as soon as possible and at an affordable price.”
It is not yet known where the spray will be sold or how much it will cost.
Local Profile reached out to other districts in North Texas, but did not receive responses prior to publishing.