Mar 14, 2016 2:51 PM

Manchester city, school officials push for Narcan in all schools - even elementaries

MANCHESTER - The heroin epidemic in New Hampshire is not going away overnight, but school and city officials in Manchester are banding together to get Narcan in all Queen City schools.

In 2015, 1,732 mg of Narcan was distributed city wide, and now Manchester schools say there is a need for it.

The School Board Committee is set to hear the request for Narcan in all schools made by Manchester Public Health Director Tim Soucy.

“We’re in crisis mode,” he said.

“Every principal and superintendent knows that there are drugs in our schools," said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Debra Livingston. "This is urgent. It is urgent that we do something. We need to address it right now.”

It's not necessarily the students the request is aiming to protect, though.

“We’re not worried about second graders in elementary school overdosings," Soucy said. "That’s not why we’re putting in the schools. We have 22 campuses and something can happen in the parking lot, something can happen outside, and something can happen that’s not even associated with the school."

The numbers are on the rise. There have already been 20 fatal overdoses January and February of this year alone.

The number of opioid-related calls (123) is on the rise as well as those treated by Narcan (80).

The victims' ages range from 15 years old to almost 90 years old.

“Why now? Well I think it’s been taking some time getting to that point and where everyone is working together,” Livingston said.

When asked, Soucy told NH1 News parents showing up at school high is also a problem.

“It’s happened,” said Soucy. “Not necessarily on heroin but yes there are times where parents or visitors show up under the influence.”

On Monday, the School Board Committee took their vote and then the request for Narcan will have to appear to the full School Board.

If all goes according to plan, city schools could have Narcan in the nurses office in a matter of weeks.


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