Ashton Marra Published

W.Va., Ky. Schools Stocking Drug to Reverse Opioid Overdoses


The West Virginia Board of Education approved a policy last week allowing county school systems across the state to start stocking Naloxone—a medicine that reverses the effects of a drug overdose—in schools.

Two counties—Brooke and Cabell—were previously allowed to keep the overdose antidote in schools, but the new policy expands the program statewide.

In Kentucky, similar efforts are underway with Narcan, which is very similar to Naloxone and used for the same purpose. Bowling Green Superintendent Gary Fields said educators across the state are being trained to administer Narcan this week.

“I think any time we ask lay people who aren’t health care professionals to administer medicine, that’s always a scary moment, but if we feel like it’s going to possibly save the life of a student down the road, then I think we’re going to have to move in that direction,” Fields told member station WKYU.

While several Kentucky school leaders are being trained to administer Narcan there, in West Virginia, the new Naloxone policy says only schools nurses can administer the antidote which comes in the form of a nasal spray.

There are about 415 nurses covering more than 700 schools in West Virginia.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.