- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Health and school officials in Vermont are discussing whether school nurses should be allowed to have a drug to administer to students that reverses the effects of an opiate overdose.

The Vermont Medical Society’s School Nurse Advisory Committee is debating whether nurses can administer naloxone, a drug carried by police and other first responders that can reverse overdoses from heroin and other opiates.

“This is new enough so that we’re aware of it and we’re discussing it,” said Paula Crossett, a nurse at U-32 High School in East Montpelier who is also president of the Vermont State School Nurses Association and serves on the School Nurse Advisory Committee.

“This is something we’ve discussed,” she told the Rutland Herald (https://bit.ly/1vLAwaD). “We know the issue is coming, but it’s something we need to research.”

A year ago the Vermont Health Department began distributing Naloxone kits directly to addicts, their friends or their family members. Since their introduction the Naloxone kits are thought to have saved a number of lives, but officials can’t say for sure.

In Vermont, nurses can administer drugs to students only by a doctor’s order. A nurse can receive a standing doctor’s order to administer epinephrin - used to treat allergic reactions - when a nurse believes a student is experiencing a serious allergic reaction.

Jeff Francis, executive director of the Vermont Superintendents Association, said the discussion about naloxone is still in the very early stages.

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Information from: Rutland Herald, https://www.rutlandherald.com/

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