South Dakota lawmakers may take action to make it easier for schools to stock the overdose antidote Narcan. The goal is to protect students from the deadly effects of taking opioids. Current state law doesn’t make clear what is and what isn’t allowed when it comes to treating overdoses in school.
South Dakota law already allows first-responders like school resource officers to carry and administer Narcan to reverse the effects of patients experiencing an opioid overdose. There is also a section of the law that allows a relative, friend or other close third-party to administer the antidote to someone overdosing.
“As a parent and a grandparent, I see this as saving my child or grandchild’s life,” State Sen. Jim Stalzer, (R) Sioux Falls said.
Stalzer co-sponsored the bill addressing drug and alcohol abuse, which became state law. He says the bill was intended to allow school nurses to give Narcan to students. But some schools say there’s too much gray area in the law as to whether a school nurse qualifies as a close-third party. Equipping schools with Narcan is a discussion going on among districts across the country, including Sioux Falls Public Schools.
“I feel like it’s definitely a conversation we have had. Just knowing that nationwide there are issues and that certain states have allowed that Narcan be stocked in their schools. It’s something we have talked about and we talked about how would students have access to that,” Sioux Falls School District Health Service Coordinator Molly Satter said.
The Sioux Falls School District says it’s comfortable with school resource officers being equipped with Narcan in case of an overdose involving students. Senator Stalzer says he plans to introduce a bill to further clarify who can administer the potential life-saving antidote.
“We may have to bring a minor modification into the law to make sure that a school nurse would be covered if they were to use it or give it,” Stalzer said.
Tuesday at 10 p.m., we’ll hear from a Sioux Falls School Resource Officer about the importance of being equipped with Narcan. Find out if he’s had to provide the antidote to any students on Eye On KELOLAND.