PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With fentanyl and opioid overdose deaths continuing to climb, schools across Oregon will soon have access to the life-saving drug naloxone and will be trained to respond to overdoses.
The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education announced a Fentanyl & Opioid Response Toolkit for Schools will soon be released. The toolkit will help schools develop an emergency protocol to administer naloxone, often called Narcan, to reverse opioid overdoses.
The toolkit offers resources to help train staff, and provide prevention education. Along with that, it details how naloxone can be accessed, administered and stored.
“Rising opioid overdose deaths are a public health crisis, and schools are the heart of Oregon communities. Unfortunately, this trend is expected to continue, as Oregon has continued to see an increase in accidental overdose deaths due to fentanyl,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen.
Earlier this year, Portland Public Schools and the Oregon City School District announced they would be carrying naloxone. While Oregon City had already scheduled a vote in April, the decision came just a week after two Portland teens died of fentanyl overdoses.
More than 100,000 accidental overdose deaths were recorded between May 2020 and April 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fentanyl accounted for 64% of those deaths.
In Oregon alone, fentanyl-related overdoses have reportedly increased by 74% from 2019-2020.