An online course offered by the American Federation of Teachers in collaboration with Harvard Medical School aims to help educators, nurses, social workers and school support personnel understand the nation’s opioid epidemic.
Schools are among the places on the front lines of the public health crisis.
As death rates from opioids have risen, teachers and school administrators have assisted students in family crisis and students who’ve faced their own addiction.
Schools are increasingly carrying units of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone so that they can respond to emergencies.
It’s important for educators and nurses, who are both counted among AFT’s members, to respond to counter the stigma that sometimes prevents people from seeking help, AFT President Randi Weingarten says in a video introducing the course.
“Arming people with science-based education about addicition is key to fighting this stigma,” she says.
The course teaches viewers how to identify risk for addiction, recognize the signs of an overdose, administer naloxone, and support people in recovery.
Education Week reported previously on how schools respond when students’ families are struck by opioid addiction in this piece, which appeared on the PBS Newshour.
Related reading on opioids and schools:
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions Calls on DARE to Help Fight Opioid Epidemic
- Drug to Treat Opioid, Heroin Overdoses Offered Free to All US High Schools
- More School Drug Prevention Programs Address Prescription Painkiller Abuse
- Vermont Governor’s Speech Focuses on Drug Addiction
- Opinion: Are You Thinking About Heroin?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.