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Should students and teachers be trained to administer Naloxone?

In Northern Virginia, some school districts are discussing if more staff and even students should be trained to use Naloxone.

VIRGINIA, USA — Conversations are happening in school board meetings and behind closed doors across Northern Virginia, about Naloxone and opioids.

During a school board meeting in Arlington Thursday night, board members and parents talked about whether or not all staff should be trained to use Naloxone and if students should also be trained.

"Schools have EpiPens, active shooter drills, somehow this sometimes gets a little overlooked, even though it's the most common cause of accidental death over gun violence," said Ginny Atwood Lovitt who founded the the Chris Atwood Foundation.

"Parents are looking at what happened at Wakefield and thinking oh my God what if this happens to me? Getting equipped with Narcan is such a practical and powerful way to respond to this tragic event" she said.

She told WUSA9 everyone should be trained to use Narcan. "This is a community wide problem that needs a community wide response," she said.

We reached out to several school districts late Friday afternoon, across Northern Virginia and asked the following questions. 

How many staff members are trained to use Naloxone?

How much Narcan is accessible in schools?

Would you consider training students?

The Alexandria City Public Schools Director of School Health Services Dr. Robin Wallin told told WUSA9: "We have offered the "Revive" training for the use of Naloxone (Narcan) to all of our school principals, assistant principals, school nurses, nursing assistants, school security officers and several groups of teachers in our high school programs. An estimated 100 individuals have received this training in our school division."

Dr. Wallin shared that, "Naloxone is available in all of our school health offices, in the AED cabinets and is available with individuals who have received the Revive training, including school administrators and school security officers."

As for training students, Dr. Wallin told WUSA9: "We have not considered that at this time but continue to review appropriate groups that would benefit from this training."

A spokesperson for Prince William County Public Schools told WUSA9 they didn't have a total number of staff members who are trained on the use of Narcan readily available. However, they said all nurses and school resource oficers have Narcan and that their security staff is also trained on how to use it.

A spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools told WUSA9 the number of staff members trained requires a data search, but shared that every FCPS school health office has Narcan.

A spokesperson for Arlington County Public Schools told WUSA9 We have over 200 trained, including all administrators. It's available in our clinics and offices. We are working with the county on those options. 

Ginny Atwood Lovitt, told WUSA9 all students should receive the training.

"The most likely person to respond to an overdose is whoever is closest to that person. in a school setting it could be teachers but it's most likely going to be a fellow student," she said.

She told WUSA9 the training, and Narcan itself are free and simple. The training can be done online or in person.

To take the training through The Chris Atwood Foundation and get Naxolone, click here.

Emily Siiqveland, the Opiods Program Manager for the Arlington County Department of Human Services told WUSA9 they've received more than 500 requests for resources, from Naxolone to Fentanyl testing strips to other information just this week.

"We have been inundated with requests for naloxone and other harm reduction tools," said Siiqveland.

Just this past week, they gave out 151 boxes of Naloxone at an event in Arlington.

They have several upcoming events.

Credit: arlington County

For more information click here.

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