Special Reports

Michigan Schools Now Allowed To Use Drugs To Reverse Opioid Overdose


A new bill has been approved which allows Michigan schools to keep a drug that is used to reverse an opioid overdose. It was able to get unanimous approval in the Senate last week.

UpNorthLive.com reported that the House would consider the measures after the 2016 U.S. Elections this November. The legislation would let school districts stock Naloxone, an antidote against drug overdoses. Once a district has decided to obtain the antidote, it is required to train a minimum of two employees to administer the drug.

Sponsors of the legislation are Republican Sen. Dale Zorn of Ida and Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich of Flint. Michigan would be the eighth state to give schools access to Naloxone.

According to the legislation, Michigan schools are required to authorize a registered nurse who has been employed or contracted by a school district or a trained school employee to possess and administer an opioid antagonist. The school employee who can administer the drug will also need immunity from liability.

The bill was introduced by Senator Jim Ananich last Feb. 17, 2016. On Oct. 20, it gained 580 yeas and 36 nays.

This would definitely help ensure campus safety as the antidote drug can be used as first-aid for opioid overdoses in schools. It was reported that 3 percent of students spent their student loan funds on alcohol and drugs. Others spend it on vacations, restaurants, clothes, car payments and monthly bills.

CHEST Physician, the newspaper of The American College of Chest Physicians, noted that the opioid overdose crisis in the U.S. is evident in intensive care units (ICUs). A study on hospitals in 44 states, conducted between 2009 and 2015, revealed that ICU admissions for opioid overdoses have increased by almost half while ICU deaths from the same cause have also doubled.

"This means the opioid use epidemic has probably reached a new level of crisis," investigator Jennifer P. Stevens, MD, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, said. "And this means that in spite of everything that we can do in the ICU - keeping them alive on ventilators, doing life support, doing acute dialysis, doing round-the-clock care, round-the-clock board-certified intensivist care - we are still not able to make a difference in that mortality."

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