Getting the overdose reversal drug Narcan into Manchester’s public schools cleared its first hurdle Monday night.
With a unanimous vote, the request passed the school board’s coordination committee and now heads for a final vote in front of the full board on March 28.
The proposal sparked little debate but did draw some concerns from resident Michael Porter that putting this drug in schools could cause an unnecessary liability for the school district.
But Manchester’s Health Director Tim Soucy, who drafted the proposal, disagreed.
“There are absolutely no adverse effects to this drug – if you were to give Narcan or naxolone to someone who had not had an opioid overdose there is no negative consequences to the medication,” Soucy told committee members.
Soucy said the push to stock Narcan comes from the more than 700 overdoses that occurred last year in Manchester alone, 83 which were fatal, including a 16-year-old.
Porter also told the committee that having Narcan on school property will give addicts another safe place to use. “If addicts find out that the schools host these items – they are going to inject on school property – it happens around the city,” Porter testified.
Soucy quickly rebutted this claim, arguing that Nashua has had Narcan in schools for more than a month and have not seen this problem.
Berlin also passed a policy to put Narcan in schools but have yet to start stocking it. Neither Manchester, Nashua or Berlin has had a student overdose on school property and have all explored such policies for precautionary reasons.
If approved by the full School Board every Manchester school from elementary to high school will get two kits of Narcan provided by the state.