COLORADO SPRINGS — With fentanyl overdoses on the rise in the state, Colorado Springs School District 11 will now have Narcan readily available in all of its middle schools.
The district previously had it in their high schools, but now will add it to their middle schools this upcoming school year as a way to save lives.
"We are now seeing a little bit more of a growth of fentanyl and overdose issues throughout our community," said Devra Ashby, Chief Communications Officer for Colorado Springs School District 11.
The addition of Narcan in middle schools comes after two District 11 students passed away after overdosing last year.
"That really had a ripple effect in our community and our teachers, and our staff were very traumatized by the impacts and started asking for more resources," said Ashby.
The nurses at all of District 11's schools will have Narcan available.
"At this point, it will be in the nurses' offices, and only the nurses are getting trained on how to administer it," Ashby said.
The district says they may eventually allow administrators and school security to have it as well.
Children's Hospital Colorado says the more public places that have access to it, the better.
"If an individual has an opioid overdose, doing things like rescue breathing, meaning breathing for them, will not take away the opioid effects and that's why Narcan is so very important," said Michael DiStefano, Chief Medical Officer at Children's Hospital Colorado Colorado Springs.
He also mentioned that if given in time, Narcan is highly effective.
"If you give Narcan when the individual is starting to slow their breathing, or have just stopped breathing, it is 100% effective," DiStefano said.
District 11 also wants to set an example for other school districts to have Narcan on hand.
"We're hoping that other school districts in our area we'll do the same," Ashby said. "It doesn't matter what school, what district, what community they live in, they're all of our kids and we need to all step up to the plate and make sure they're safe."
Below is a list of some of the school districts in Southern Colorado that will have Narcan available in all of their schools:
- Widefield School District 3
- Fountain Fort Carson School District 8
- Lewis Palmer School District 38
- Pueblo School District 60
Below is a list of some of the school districts in Southern Colorado that will have Narcan available in their middle and high schools:
- Harrison School District 2
- Colorado Springs School District 11
- Falcon School District 49
Pueblo School District 70 is working on a policy that the board will have to approve. Their goal is to have Narcan in all schools by the end of the upcoming school year.
Canon City Schools said that they do not have Narcan available in any of their schools.
News5 reached out to Academy School District 20, but they did not respond.
The largest district in Colorado Springs, Academy School District 20 has not responded.
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