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Bill would allow schools to buy, give anti-opioid OD medication

The legislation allows a public school to buy naloxone, also known as Narcan.

State Sen. Jason Pizzo has filed a measure for the upcoming 2020 Legislative Session that allows K-12 public schools to buy and give the anti-opioid drug naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan.

Specifically, naloxone is administered to help combat the effects of an opioid overdose.

Pizzo’s bill (SB 120) sets forth the process to schools to get the drug. It also exempts a school from liability for administering the drug.

The legislation allows a public school to buy naloxone from a wholesale distributor “at fair-market, free, or reduced prices for use in the event a student has an opioid overdose.”

In addition, “The participating school district shall adopt a protocol developed by a licensed physician for the administration of the drug by school personnel who are trained to recognize an opioid overdose and to administer naloxone.”

If approved, the law would take effect July 1, 2020, ahead of the 2020-21 school year.

A request for comment was sent Friday to Diana Oropallo, spokesperson for Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid deaths constituted 68 percent of overdose deaths in 2017. That 2017 number was 6 times higher than the number in 1999.

CDC data puts Florida 16th out of the 50 states in terms of age-adjusted death rates from opioids. The most recent data available is from 2017.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has released a paper aimed in part at tackling opioid abuse among the middle and high school population.

Pizzo’s measure shields school employees from liability “for any injury arising from the use of” naloxone if it is administered to help prevent an overdose.

That shield will not hold if the trained personnel’s actions were “willful and wanton.” But parents would not be required to approve the use of naloxone on their child ahead of time.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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