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The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

Narcan deployment in schools promotes emergency preparedness

Narcan, which can be found in the clinic and first aid kits throughout the school, can be administered by a nurse or security.
Asmin Cakir
Narcan, which can be found in the clinic and first aid kits throughout the school, can be administered by a nurse or security.

A student experienced a non-fatal overdose at Hayfield Secondary School according to a Nov. 17 email from FCPS superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid. In the previous school year, there were four fatal overdoses and 34 non-fatal youth overdoses in Fairfax County, according to FCPS. To prevent more fatal incidents in the future, FCPS has decided to add Narcan, an opioid reversal medication, into the clinics of every school. 

According to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, Narcan — also referred to as Naloxone — works by stopping the effects of opiates on the brain and by getting breathing back to normal. 

 “I think having that knowledge about Narcan, for students, teachers and staff is really important, because at the end of the day, Narcan helps prevent an overdose,” senior Nishmaya Gundapuneedi said. 

The administration of Narcan is a common practice in situations where an individual has overdosed on opioids, owing to its efficacy in counteracting the effects of these substances. Unless Narcan is administered, traditional methods like inducing vomiting, using ice baths or resorting to slapping will be ineffective in reversing opioid effects, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. Narcan can be administered by placing the overdosed person on a flat surface. Then, the nozzle is inserted into either nostril until fingers touch the bottom of the nose and the plunger is pressed to release the dose.  

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 “Narcan will just jumpstart their body again,” practical nursing teacher Cynthia Dowd said. “It usually takes up to three minutes for the patient to respond.”

 As a result of this decision, Narcan is available in the clinic and in the aid kits throughout the schools in Fairfax County. Health room staff at each school have been trained on how to administer Narcan and some academy classes have also learned the importance of Naloxone and how to use it in a possible emergency. Although FCPS made this decision to prevent fatal overdoses, some individuals believe the decision could potentially have a more large-scale negative impact. 

“I feel like [students] would use drugs even more because if you have something that would help you get out of that, then they won’t have anything that’s stopping them, because they’ll be fine even if they use it,” junior Heeren Ankam said. 

Data from FCPS showed that the number of opioid overdose cases in the county, which was zero in 2019, increased to seven in 2020, and to 11 in 2021. According to the National Library of Medicine, Narcan is known to be the most effective item that can save a patient’s life in an  overdose emergency.  

“I think in the future, Narcan training would be very good to have as a requirement for students and staff,” Gundapuneedi said. “If more people get access to drugs, [it] becomes sort of inevitable, and it would just be really helpful for everybody.”

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About the Contributor
Asmin Cakir, Staff Writer
Asmin is a freshman in her first year with The Purple Tide. She likes to read books, write articles, stories, poems, listen to music and watch Netflix (especially Gilmore Girls). She loves hanging out with her mom and friends. Although she doesn't play any sports, she is looking for others that she might enjoy.
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