BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The medication paramedics use to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose could soon be in your child’s high school classroom.
Usually, nurses and other licensed personnel are the only people who can administer Naloxone at schools, but a new training program would allow administrators and coaches to as well.
“It is a situation that is very real,” said Captain Clay Hammac, the Director of Compact 2020. “There are drug abusers who are between the ages of 9th grade and 12th grade. Yes, these are uncomfortable realities that we have to face and become aware of.”
He said the state is no stranger to the opioid crisis.
Captain Hammac works with families dealing with challenges that come with substance abuse and addiction, and gives them resources for recovery opportunities.
“We do have an increase in overdose incidents. However, thankfully, with the introduction to Narcan and Naloxone with our first responders, our firefighters, and our paramedics, we do have a decrease in overdose fatalities,” he said.
And with this new program, the state hopes to continue that trend.
The Alabama State Department of Education working with The Alabama Board of Nursing, The Alabama Board of Pharmacy, The Alabama State Department of Public Health, and Children’s Hospital of Alabama to develop training that Captain Hammac said will equip administrators and coaches with a life-saving medication when it’s needed.
But he said this medication does not take the place of recovery.
“It’s certainly not intended to give the illustration of acceptance, or a crutch, or enablement of substance abuse,” said Captain Hammac.
This training program is available to all public high schools in the state, but it’s not mandatory.
There is no cost to Alabama schools.