High Schools Stock Up On Life-Saving Drug

Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, New Jersey draws students from four affluent towns in northwest Bergen County. The school has seen how widespread the opioid crisis is in their county and decided to be prepared. The school has been approved to administer the lifesaving drug Narcan (the commercial name for naloxone hydrochloride) to any student who overdoses on an opioid on school grounds.

Schools Are Preparing for Teen Opioid Users

Northern Highlands is just one of a growing number of high schools across the country stocking the opioid antidote naloxone. In the next state over, the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has noted the widespread interest in stocking naloxone and training school nurses on it. When given as a nasal spray, naloxone can quickly revive someone who is not breathing due to an opioid overdose. Adapt Pharma produces the drug and says it has distributed over 3,300 doses of the drug to high schools around the country for free. In April, Adapt Pharma expanded the program to include colleges and universities.

Opioid Overdose Statistics

Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused substances, after marijuana and alcohol, for teens 14 and older. In 2016, a record high of nearly 64,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States and at least two-thirds of those deaths were linked to opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says overdose deaths for teens age 15 to 19 rose 19 percent in just one year, between 2014 and 2015, with the majority of deaths coming from opioids, specifically heroin.

Unfortunately, the widespread reported abuse of opioids by teens in New York and New Jersey only shows how rampant this epidemic is all over the country.

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