Manchester public schools may soon stock the anti-overdose drug Narcan. The city’s school board will be taking up the proposal at its monthly meeting Monday evening.
Manchester saw more than 720 overdoes last year. Of those, 83 proved fatal, including the death of a 16-year-old.
Although there haven’t been any overdoses at the city's schools so far, Manchester’s public health director Tim Soucy said he doesn’t want to take the risk.
“It gives us the opportunity, that if something was to happen on school grounds, to have immediate access to Narcan and hopefully save a life in a couple of minutes before EMS gets there,” Soucy said.
Last year Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill to expand access of Narcan so that anyone in the state could get it with or without a prescription. The drug, medically known as naloxone, is an opioid antagonist that is designed to reverse the effects of an overdose. Last year the Manchester fire department and EMS used the drug nearly 600 times.
If the proposal is approved, all city elementary and high schools will have two Narcan kits on site, paid for by the state.
Soucy said school nurses and administrators have already been trained and will be ready to shelve the drug immediately.
Earlier this year, officials in Nashua and Berlin voted to put Narcan in schools.