A new state law authorizes school nurses and other trained and authorized personnel at West Virginia schools to administer drugs to counteract opioid overdoses by students without having to first contact parents.
The bill passed unanimously by the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Jim Justice comes as West Virginia recorded 844 overdose deaths last year, more than 700 involving at least one opioid such as heroin, fentanyl or prescription painkillers.
It also authorizes administering the antidote to school personnel or others during regular school hours or at functions and events on school property.
The law applies to public and private schools. It does not require schools have the drugs available.
It directs the state Board of Education to develop requirements for training, storage and notifying parents after incidents.