KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Preventative and proactive.
That’s how educators in Kansas City, Kansas describe their training to use Narcan, the emergency spray that’s used to save anyone who’s overdosed on fentanyl.
Fifty doses of the life-saving tool are now owned by KCK Public School administrators, 153 district employees have been trained to administer Narcan, including fellow nursing staffers and district police officers.
“We want to make sure we have the necessary tools in place if we have a situation like this,” KCK Schools Police Chief Curtis Nicholson said.
District employees were trained just before students went on holiday break in December. The school district has placed four of those Narcan sprays at one high school for now.
Nicholson said he believes this is a necessary provision, since young people are coming into contact with fentanyl-laced drugs more frequently. So far, the district’s police officers and nursing staff are among those who’ve been trained.
“Fentanyl and other opioids are so prevalent in the community — not just in our schools, but everywhere in the country,” Nicholson said.
KCK Public Schools Police confirmed for FOX4 they know of only three incidents where a fentanyl-laced drug has gotten inside a school building. Tiffany Lewis, the district’s director of health services, manages all of the school system’s school nurses. Lewis said merely encouraging kids to avoid drugs hasn’t worked.
“You can preach abstaining from drugs, but teens are going to do it. We’re trying to really help set themselves up and be protected and have Narcan,” Lewis said.
Educators got their training from the Wyandotte County Health Department. Margaux Guignon, who aids people fighting substance addiction with First Call, said she believes all teachers should be taught to administer Narcan, since kids who seek drugs often buy them at school.
‘If you suspect someone has overdosed, administer Narcan and call 911. It will work on all opioids,” Guignon said.
Kansas state officials will provide Narcan only to high schools for the time being, and not elementary or middle schools. The KCK School District won’t say which high school has the Narcan doses, but Lewis says plans are to introduce Narcan at a second high school in February.
If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse problems, please contact First Call at (816) 361-5900.