The Maryland State Department of Education awarded Frederick County Public Schools a $141,459 Heroin and Opioid Policy Development Grant to place more naloxone, an overdose-reversing medication, in schools and to launch a campaign including information on substance abuse.
On Wednesday, the school board voted to accept the grant funding, which will not require any further local funds.
In 2017, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Heroin and Opioid Education and Community Action Act of 2017, or the Start Talking Maryland Act, requiring school districts to establish a policy for the administration of naloxone if a student is believed to be experiencing an opioid overdose and to inform the public of its policy. The legislation came in response to recent growing opioid overdose deaths in Maryland.
FCPS placed naloxone in every school in the county starting in the 2017-2018 school year. Now, this grant’s funding will allow FCPS to provide more naloxone in schools and launch a broader informational campaign. The overdose kits are available in public AED cabinets in every school and in every school’s health room, said Jenifer Waters, FCPS Health Services specialist.
Since the legislation passed in 2017, Waters said, “FCPS and FCHD School Health Services collaboratively developed protocols, standing orders, and clinical guidelines to support the use of naloxone in recognition and response to suspected opioid overdose in FCPS schools.” The Board of Education also updated its drug policy.
The cost of supplying schools with naloxone fell on local districts when the act was first passed. FCPS spent about $4,800 to stock all school campuses with naloxone ahead of the 2017-2018 school year. This local funding also paid for the training of school-based health staff and other school personnel on how to administer the overdose-reversing drug.
In his fiscal 2019 budget, however, Gov. Larry Hogan included grant funding to support districts in achieving the requirements of the law. The grants from MSDE total $3 million statewide and will help local districts provide the overdose-reversing drug and adequately notify the public of their drug policy.
Waters said FCPS is working to develop a larger campaign, which would include billboards and materials for families on substance abuse. The district will distribute “Save a Life with Naloxone” posters near the naloxone kits and funding will help make the kits more easily accessible.
“The recently approved grant will greatly enhance our public outreach efforts related to prevention of opioid abuse and overdose as well as access to community resources,” she said. “Additional opioid overdose kits will provide greater access to naloxone during school-sponsored events that take place on school grounds outside of the regular school day.”
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1985 not 1895
Yep, NJ v. TLO 1895. Yet kids and their parents get bent out of shape when schools exert their authority.
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I guess those Drug Free Zone signs are not working.
I agree with another poster that it would be interesting for the public to know how many overdoses have occurred, and how many doses of naloxone have been dispensed in previous years cited. This information must be available to FCPS and will be used to ensure an appropriate number of naloxone doses per school are put in place going forward. That figure might also be very enlightening and sobering to parents of current students if made available. I would have preferred that the headline to this article would have emphasized the other part of the story.......that the $141,000 grant will be used for education and raised awareness programs highlighting the risks and dangers of opioid use and potential addiction for students. Rather than questioning whether FCPS will be "spending money unnecessarily", we may want to emphasize the equally critical role of education and prevention that is an integral part of this important effort.
I don't know what they do today in MD schools, but decades ago they used to teach about the dangers of tobacco and drugs, and the impacts on the body and people's health. I'm for the education about the dangers but beyond that, maybe the funding should come from the people who actually have children rather than from everyone. Many other government services are heavily dependent on user fees (e.g., gas tax, license fees, garbage fees, taxes based on electric or water usage, etc.) and providing drugs in case of an overdose is not core education that is required to be free by MD's constitution.
What is being taught today is whatever is on the tests. Period. No time for the old standbys.
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I wish folks would snap to reality and get out of denial and stop calling it an “overdose”, when someone is illegally using fentanyl, or any other POTENT Deadly drug not prescribed by a doctor, and not used under the watch of a doctor.
This stuff is deadly. Extremely. Deadly. Probably just as deadly, or maybe more than ingesting brake cleaner.
As a child we had green stickers. Mr Yuck stickers. To teach children about poisons.
These deaths are not “over doses”.
They are self poisoning.
An overdose is the doctor prescribes one capsul every 12 hours, but you take 3 capsules every 12 hours.
Fentanyl laced in heroin by street dealers. Administered without doctor supervision. Administered without a formal medical background. A potent drug that is deadly. It’s poison.
Just as when you consume too much alcohol and have an adverse medical reaction - it’s referred to as “alcohol poisoning”.
Please do not bark at me and tell me to do some research. As with most American families, without going into details, heroin use has had a role within our relatives. Two of them, to be exact, on each side of the family.
Kelly- I’m sorry for the losses you and your family have endured. No one should have to go through that and it’s very unfortunate this opioid epidemic has impacted so many lives.
The story didn't mention how many overdoses occurred in school. Does FCPS have that data? Is FCPS spending money unnecessarily to show that they are "doing something"?
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