PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The push to get the overdose reversal drug naloxone, or Narcan, in schools has prompted Oregon legislators to consider protections for whoever administers the life-saving drug in schools.
Senate Bill 665, which was signed into law in 2019, offers protections for a person who would administer naloxone or any other life-saving measure in good faith. Now, House Bill 2883, which allows staff to administer the drug without parent approval, would close any loopholes left behind.
The 2019 bill was presented on behalf of the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon School Board Association. This bill facilitated district’s ability to make their own policies on Narcan.
Kelly Sloop, the director for the nonprofit Need4Narcan, sits on the West Linn-Wilsonville school board and is a pharmacist.
Sloop says her understanding of this new bill is to close any loop holes in the previous bill. While the 2019 bill focused on allowing trained staff to administer naloxone, Sloop says this new bill will allow all staff to administer the drug.
She also says there is no reason to not give Narcan if you suspect an overdose.
“If you give Narcan to someone who is not experiencing an opiate overdose will not harm them. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and give somebody who’s unconscious Narcan,” said Sloop.
House Bill 2883 is currently working it’s way through the Oregon Legislature. Earlier this month, it was referred to the Behavioral Health and Health Care committee.
Outside of school, Sloop says Oregon’s Good Samaritan Law protects people from using Narcan or CPR on someone who is unconscious or not breathing.