All Horry County schools will receive 4 doses of Narcan, district says

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 12:24 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2023 at 4:22 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Schools in Horry County will now have a lifesaving, opioid-overdose reversal at their deposal.

Horry County Schools says each school will get four doses of Narcan, which will be given by the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The doses of Narcan will be stored in the nurse’s office, according to the district.

Along with storing the drug, nurses will receive training on administering it, the district says. From there, the nurses will train their staff on it.

Before this school year, nurses were generally prohibited from administering lifesaving, opioid-overdose reversal medications like Narcan at school. Instead, they would need to track down a school resource office and hope they had the medication on them or nearby.

Now a new state law allows schools to keep a stock of overdose reversal drugs, such as Narcan, in their supplies of lifesaving medications.

“The new law allows life-saving medication to be administered to not only students but also to staff, parents and campus visitors as necessary, to help save lives in school communities,” a Wednesday news release from DHEC reads. “It can be used within the school or at any school-associated activity or event, such as sporting events.”

DHEC reports drug overdose deaths are rising “at an alarming rate.”

“Naloxone [Narcan] is the lifesaving medication we hope no school nurse or trained school staff person ever has to administer, but we are in the middle of an opioid epidemic and need to be realistic and prepared,” Victoria Ladd, state school nurse consultant, says. “While naloxone does not provide prevention for addiction, it can save lives when a person has taken too many opioid-containing drugs or medications so the person can live to get the help they need.”

Along with Narcan, albuterol inhalers and previously approved EpiPens are also being authorized by DHEC this school year.