Overdose Death Prevention in High School with Narcan
In 2016, the highest number of recorded opioid overdose deaths was reported by the CDC. More than 42,000 people lost their lives due to prescription opioids such as fentanyl making opioid overdoses the leading cause of drug overdose death. With the staggering numbers in mind, President Trump vowed to curb the opioid crisis by introducing a new policy in high schools across the country: high schools will now carry life-saving Nacran on site.
President Trump reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to overcoming the opioid epidemic, which comes after he declared it a public health emergency. However, in a State of the Union address, Trump only dedicated less than a minute on the topic. Many people on the frontlines of the epidemic were hoping that the President would be more open about what his administration intends to do about the epidemic.
Overdose Prevention Strategies in High Schools
As a part of the overdose prevention strategies that are being put in place to curb the overdose death statistics, schools will now carry Narcan, a medication that can cure an opioid overdose. School nurses, supervisors and gym trainers are among the staff members that are being taught how to use the life-saving medication in case of an overdose.
Principals at schools are thankful for the addition of Narcan but hope they never have to use it. As the overdose death rates increase across the country, teens are as affected as everyone else. The CDC released figures showing that overdose death rates in teens rose by 19 percent in just one year from 2014 to 2015.
Concerning Information about Teen Opioid Availability
A major cause behind the opioid epidemic in teens is just how easy it is for a teen to get a hold of prescription opioid pain relievers. The pediatric surgery researcher of the University of Michigan, Dr. Calista Harbaugh, conducted a study to see how at risk teens are by taking opioids after surgery, such as having their tonsils removed.
The data pool looked at just under 90,000 patients in the 13 to 21 age group. They had never been exposed to opioid pain relievers prior. Out of the patients who had recently gone through a serious surgery, 4,343 continued to fill out prescriptions for up to six months after they initially had their surgery. The results of the study showed that teens abuse opioids as easily after a major surgery as adults do.
Many doctors prescribe powerful opioids in such cases to kids that have not yet hit puberty without fully looking at all of the risks involved with prescribing opioid pain killers. Children as young as 11 are allowed to be legally prescribed slow-release forms of opioids such as OxyContin, opening them up to the risk of addiction and overdose.
Due to the high risk of abuse even when a doctor’s drug regime is followed, several states are now further limiting how long the initial opioid prescription lasts to as little as a week. This means that the maximum number of days that doctors can prescribe opioids for is between five and seven days depending on the state.
Researchers believe that through doctors prescribing less opioids and for less cases, along with better education for both teens and parents on the dangers of opioid use, the epidemic can be overcome. Not only are doctors starting to stand behind the approach of prescribing less and in fewer cases, but many patients are standing behind the doctors’ decisions.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.