Local high schools hesitant to provide overdose reversal drugs for students


KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The number of fatal drug overdoses in North Carolina is on the rise, and now, all high schools in the country can get overdose reversal drugs free of charge.

The Clinton Foundation and Adapt Pharma are partnering to make this possible.

WNCT contacted several school systems throughout our area to see if they were interested in bringing Narcan kits to your kids. Each of them responded similarly. Many seem skeptical about bringing Narcan kits here. They say their staff isn’t trained to administer it, so they’re waiting for guidance from the state Department of Public Instruction.

The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition says heroin overdose deaths in the state have increased more than 400% in the last 5 years. Narcan kits, often used by first responders, are credited with saving thousands of lives in our state alone.

Shannon Rouse-Ruiz is advocating for the kits in Lenoir County Public Schools. She says you never know what problems may arise.

“What if you have an injured player and they take a pain pill and when they start running, they start sweating, they start exercising… It’s going to cause that medication to move rapidly through their system, and then in some cases, collapse,” said Rouse-Ruiz, Executive Director of the PEACE Foundation.

Rouse-Ruiz regularly distributes Narcan kits to families in need. She says training is simple and only takes a few minutes.

She meets with school system leaders in early April to advocate for Narcan kits.

If you’re interested in getting a Narcan kit, you can contact Shannon at the PEACE Foundation at 252-525-6139.

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