WA lawmakers propose bill that would allow opioid overdose medication in schools

As the opioid crisis continues to grow nationwide, lawmakers in Olympia have introduced a bill that would allow the medications that prevent overdoses to be used in schools.

House Bill 1039 would require school districts with more than 2,000 students to obtain and maintain at least one set of opioid overdose medication in each of its high schools. It says school nurses and other trained personnel could administer the school-owned opioid overdose medication to respond to symptoms of an opioid-related overdose.

The medication could be used on school property, including playgrounds, and on school buses and field trips.

As the bill mentions, opioid overdoses killed 693 people in Washington. It also mentions that in 2016, syringe service programs in the state distributed 3,640 naxalone kits and reported 690 overdose reversals.

The bills says it’s not clear how many overdose incidents happen at schools each year.

It also says that if a student is injured or harmed through the administration of the medication, the practitioner or pharmacist may not be held responsible unless they “acted with conscious disregard for safety.”

The bill also says that, by the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year, a college with a dorm that houses more than 100 students must develop a plan for having opioid overdose medication in and around the residence hall.

The bill is scheduled for a public hearing Friday. You can read the full text of that bill at this link.

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