Oregon schools to have fentanyl toolkit to prevent overdoses

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 8:34 AM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Oregon schools will soon have a toolkit available to help prevent and respond to potential drug overdoses.

There has been an ongoing conversation about the dangers of fentanyl and opioid use, especially when it comes to teenagers and young adults.

Now, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department Of Education have come up with a new resource for school staff, students and families.

It’s called the fentanyl and opioid response toolkit for schools, and it aims to prevent drug overdoses and deaths in Oregon.

It will equip Oregon schools with emergency protocol to administer naloxone, also known as narcan.

The tool kit provides information about how to access, administer and store narcan, a life-saving overdose medication.

The kit will also provide guidance on prevention education and emergency response procedures.

Portland schools have held ongoing conversations with families to increase awareness of the dangers of illegal pill use in young people, and that fentanyl can often times be made to look like other drugs.

“Fentanyl can look like a lot of different things,” said Lydia Bartholow, a psychiatric nurse practitioner. “It can look like methamphetamines. It can look like ibuprofen. It can look like a xanax pill. So you can’t go to a party and think oh, this pill is safe. What we know is it’s showing up in a variety of different forms.”

According to the CDC, from May of 2020 to April 2021, deaths from accidental overdoses in one year surpassed a hundred thousand for the first time on record. 64% of those deaths were attributed to fentanyl.

The OHA said counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl are flooding the Pacific Northwest. They stress the importance of telling your kids that there is no such thing as a safe source for pills unless it’s coming straight from your health provider.