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Arkansas School Nurses Get Opioid Overdose Antidote Kits

Courtesy: Governor Asa Hutchinson's Office

OPIOID OVERDOSE ANTIDOTE KITS - Arkansas Governor  Asa  Hutchinson  says a federal government survey ranks Arkansas with having the highest percentage of students in the U.S. grades-9 through 12, who have taken pain medication without a doctor’s prescription.  And with Opioid  abuse on the rise,  Arkansas school nurses are now being equipped with an antidote that can reverse overdoses and save lives.   At a ceremony yesterday in the state Capitol, in Little Rock – Governor  Hutchinson presented several school nurses with Naloxone  kits, saying they will provide an "important lifesaving capability for  schools.  Hutchinson,  a former administrator of the Drug Enforcement  Administration  who served under President George W. Bush; said preparing for the likelihood of overdoses is a change in how officials think about  drug abuse.                     

Credit Courtesy: Arkansas Governors Office
Courtesy: Arkansas Governors Office
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announces the distribution of opioid overdose antidote kits to be given to school nurses as a safety measure to prevent opioid overdose deaths among school students.

"This is a technique with naloxone kits that would not have been considered in the ‘80s, even in the ‘90s, and probably even in the 2000s.," explained Hutchinson. "Things have changed," Hutchinson said. "We recognize how opioid abuse has overtaken so many young people either through overprescribing  or their own abuse, but the priority has to be in saving lives first and then changing behavior."       

The  Arkansas  School  Safety Commission  recommended  providing  the  Overdose Kits in a school safety report released  in December.   The $100,000 cost for Naloxone, which is also known by the brand name Narcan, is being covered by a federal grant.  In recent years,  Arkansas State Troopers  have also been equipped and trained in how to use Naloxone.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.