Ind. schools improving responses to opioid overdoses

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana schools are improving their prevention of and response to opioid overdoses thanks to a grant from the CareSource Foundation.

More than $ 178,000 have been awarded to Overdose Lifeline to provide school partners with the emergency life-saving medication naloxone, develop a custom training course for school staff and connect schools to evidence-based prevention programs.

Under an Indiana 2017 law, school districts are allowed to stock naloxone as an “emergency medication,” just as they are able to stock albuterol for severe asthma and auto-injectable epinephrine for severe allergies.

But based on information available on the Indiana Department of Health naloxone report, few Indiana schools have implemented such a program involving access to naloxone.

The report lists only two: South Bend Community School Corporation and Jennings County School Corporation.

“Hopefully, it would provide parents some peace of mind knowing that if there is an unforeseen instance where their child were to overdose, that there would be a source for them within the school to help them at that time and reverse the effects of that overdose , ”Said Steve Smitherman, CareSource president. “Hopefully that provides parents with peace of mind. Not only that, but the education component of educating the school staff on what to look for the signs and how to react once they do suspect there may be an overdose. ”

Over the next three years, Overdose Lifeline plans to increase the number of Indiana schools who have implemented an opioid overdose emergency preparedness and response program to nearly 300 schools.

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