Bill would let Florida schools have opioid-countering drugs

By The News Service of Florida, Jennifer Ready - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Senate Democrat on Thursday filed a proposal that would allow public schools to buy a type of drug that is used to treat people who have overdosed on opioids.

Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Miami-Dade County Democrat, filed the bill (SB 1064) for consideration during the legislative session that starts March 5.

Under the proposal, schools would be able to buy supplies of naloxone, a type of drug known as an opioid “antagonist” that is administered to counter the effects of overdoses.

Several local law enforcement agencies are already carrying the drug. Florida Highway patrol troopers began carrying Narcan just last year.

“It’s not just for those persons who are addicts. For example, we very often prescribe this to patients to have at home who are elderly or have a possibility where they may overdose in error,“ Dr. Harold Laski explained.

The bill would shield from liability school officials who administer the drug to students who have overdosed. Narcan would only be allowed to be administered by a trained member of the school staff and it would be required to be kept in a secure location.  

Laski believes having Narcan available in schools is a positive thing. 

“Absolutely, I think it is and it’s extremely safe and because of that, we could save innumerable lives,” Laski added.

According to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, it administered Narcan to 18 minors last year. Two of those cases were on a school campus.

If approved, the bill would take effect on July 1.

News Service of Florida