Vince Mazzeo, a New Jersey assemblyman from Atlantic County, plans to propose legislation that would require every high school in the state to maintain a supply of Narcan, an anti-overdose drug that can be used to treat heroin overdoses.
Narcan, also known as naloxone, is a prescription medication that blocks the harmful effects of opioids and heroin. The medicine is currently used by many local police departments in NJ to reverse drug overdoses. Moreover, the NJ Department of Education previously urged school administrators throughout the state to include naloxone in district emergency response procedures. Now one New Jersey legislator is pushing for Narcan to be required at all Garden State high school.
Nurses at NJ high schools would be expected to administer Narcan when necessary to combat the effects of a drug overdose. However, the nurses would be shielded from liability, and potential personal injury lawsuits, by the NJ Overdose Protection Act.
Drug Addiction and Abuse Are Serious Problems in New Jersey
The need for a drug to help prevent fatal overdoses from heroin and prescription opioids may be greater than ever, with drug overdose deaths in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere in the US at all-time highs. In 2013, two percent of NJ high school students admitted to having used heroin and another 12 percent of students said that they had illegally used a prescription medication.
These shocking numbers offer insight into Mazzeo’s reasons for introducing the bill in the NJ General Assembly. According to Mazzeo, the proposed law would be worth it if it saves just one life. Mazzeo called the legislation, which would make it mandatory for NJ high schools to supply on-site nurses with Narcan, “a proactive choice.”
For more information, view the PressOfAtlanticCity.com article, “Mazzeo Wants Narcan in Every High School.”
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