Pennsylvania Health Department Distributes Opioid Overdose Medication to Public Schools

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Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday announced the state Department of Health has provided 128 public high schools in Pennsylvania with free Narcan, a nasal spray that within minutes can reverse effects of an opioid or heroin overdose.

"By equipping trained professionals in schools with this drug, we are providing necessary resources in order to address this public health crisis," Wolf said in a statement.

In February, Wolf announced that manufacturer Adapt Pharma will provide free cartons of Narcan to requesting schools.

"Having Narcan in a school could mean the difference between life and death for a student or anyone who overdoses on school property," Secretary of Health Karen Murphy said. "The school nurses in these districts have been trained on how to administer Narcan. I encourage other districts to work with their school nurses to get involved in this groundbreaking program."

In Allegheny County, the following high schools or school districts received Narcan:

  • Elizabeth Forward
  • Bethel Park
  • Northgate
  • Moon Area
  • Upper St. Clair
  • North Allegheny
  • North Allegheny Intermediate
  • Carlynton
  • East Allegheny
  • Fox Chapel

In Westmoreland County, the following received Narcan:

  • Hempfield Area
  • Franklin Regional
  • Greensburg Salem

Lenape Area Vocational Technical School and Freeport Area School District in Armstrong County and Avella Area in Washington County also received Narcan.

Doses of Narcan remain available for other interested school districts, the governor's office said in a news release.

There were 3,383 fatal drug overdoses in Pennsylvania in 2015—81 percent of which are believed to have been caused by heroin or opioid abuse, according to state and federal officials.

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