Downey Bill to Require Schools to Maintain Narcan Supply Clears Assembly Panel

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(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Joseph Lagana, Bob Andrzejczak, Andrew Zwicker, Bruce Land, Dan Benson & Joann Downey to require schools to maintain a supply of an opioid antidote was released Thursday by an Assembly committee.

The bill (A-542) would require high schools to maintain a supply of naloxone hydrochloride, or a similar opioid antidote, and permit the school nurse to administer the antidote to a student or staff member who is experiencing an overdose. The board of education may designate additional employees who may be trained and authorized to administer the antidote in the absence of the nurse.

“The harsh reality is that opioids are killing thousands of people in this country, many of them young people,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “Narcan has been proven to save lives. Having it readily available in schools can help ensure that our schools are ready to respond in every emergency situation.”

“Ideally, no student would use drugs, but the reality is that kids in New Jersey – whether their parents know it or not – are using them and are dying,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “This legislation acknowledges that hard truth and responds accordingly.”

The bill was approved by the Assembly Education Committee.

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