Naloxone in Schools
Pursuant to Arkansas Code § 17-92- 101(16), Governor Asa Hutchinson along with the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy announced the Naloxone Protocol for Arkansas which allows Arkansas-licensed pharmacists to dispense naloxone, along with any necessary supplies for administration, to eligible persons who are at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose, or who are family members, friends, or others who are in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose. The full protocol along with supplemental resources may be found on the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy website.
Opioids are a class of drugs that include medications, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, which are commonly prescribed to treat pain, as well as illegal drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl. Opioids effectively attach to receptors in your brain and send signals that block pain, slow breathing, and calm the body down. An opioid overdose happens when the body has been overloaded with either medication or an illicit drug and breathing can slow down to dangerous levels, which could even cause death. When administered, Naloxone displaces the opioid molecules from the receptors and can rapidly reverse the respiratory depression caused by an overdose. Multiple doses may be needed and symptoms can return, so emergency medical attention is still critical for survival.
To reduce the morbidity and mortality of opioid overdoses among students, Arkansas Public Schools may choose to stock naloxone for use in emergencies. Districts are encouraged to develop procedures for stocking and administration of an anti-opioid and include this information in their school policies.
What is NARCAN®
NARCAN® Nasal Spray (naloxone HCL) is an FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. NARCAN was developed for first responders, as well as family, friends, and caregivers— to be able to administer with no medical training required following the Instructions for Use. Repeated doses may be necessary. NARCAN® Nasal Spray is not a substitute for emergency medical care. Always get help immediately, even if the person wakes up, because he/she may relapse into respiratory depression. More information on NARCAN® is available at https://www.narcan.com/
How to Obtain NARCAN®
To change the course of the opioid overdose epidemic, Emergent BioSolutions, the creator of NARCAN®, provides every high school throughout the country access to 2 cartons of Nasal Spray (4 doses) and up to 4 cartons (8 doses) for Title IV, degree-granting, 2- and 4-year institutions at no cost. Order forms for High Schools, Colleges, and Universities are available at https://www.narcan.com/community/education-awareness-and-training-resources/.
Dr. Bala Simon of the Arkansas Department of Health has issued an Authorization Letter to assist approved Arkansas entities in applying for the NARCAN® program provided by Emergent BioSolutions. Entities may use either a local prescriber, or this document, as proof of the Authorized Representative required on the order form.
Reporting the Use of Naloxone
To track the efficacy of programs providing naloxone for community use and to provide data on statewide prevention efforts, when Naloxone is administered, the person who administered the dose is asked to complete the Naloxone Reporting Tool. This online survey is mobile compatible and comprised of a total of 24 questions, some required and some optional. Those in a position to administer Naloxone are encouraged to review the questions before an emergency arises.
What is NARCANsas
Through a partnership with multiple agencies and organizations, NARCANsas.com is a mobile compatible information hub for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of opioid use in Arkansas. Download the NARCANsas app to your phone to have instant access to the step-by-step naloxone administration reference and reporting tool as well as many other resources.