Council members voted unanimously to add naloxone, commonly known as Narcan – the spray that reverses opioid overdoses, to district medical policy.
OREGON CITY, Ore. — The Oregon City School District will begin stockpiling naloxone in schools and provide training on its use to reverse opioid overdoses after a unanimous school board vote Monday night.
With the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl becoming more common in illicit drugs in the United States, more frequent and deadly overdoses have become another hallmark of the opioid epidemic.
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Overdoses have occurred among middle and high school students, recently claiming the lives of two Portland teenagers. In response, some districts have turned to stockpiling naloxone, often seen under the brand name Narcan, in an effort to stop overdoses before they end in tragedy.
“It’s a life-saving policy,” said Oregon City board member Michele Stroh. “It’s a way of anticipating the problem and I thank my fellow board members for approving it.”
KGW spoke to Stroh last week. She lost her son, Keaton, when he overdosed on counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl in 2020. Since then, she has made it her mission to get Narcan to every school.
“I lost my son after taking just one fake fentanyl pill, so I know how real these risks are for everyone,” Stroh said.
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Oregon City school district administrators said in a statement that Narcan kits will be available at each of their schools, as well as in the football system. Meanwhile, district nurses are training staff on how to use the kits in the event of an overdose.
“We also focus on prevention,” continued Stroh. “Today, the school district and its community partners are launching an outreach effort to educate parents about the risks of fake pills containing the deadly fentanyl.”
Clackamas County Public Health reported that the number of confirmed deaths attributed to fentanyl increased 89% in the county between 2020 and 2021.