Narcan allowed in Arkansas schools, department of education announced

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy came together to announce the Naloxone Protocol for Arkansas.

This protocol will allow Arkansas-licensed pharmacists to dispense naloxone, as well as any necessary administration supplies, to eligible individuals who are at risk of an opioid-related overdose, or who are family members, friends, or others who are in a position to help someone who is at risk of an opioid-related overdose, the department of education said.

On the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy website, you may find the complete protocol as well as other information.

Opioids are a class of pharmaceuticals that include both legally prescribed pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, as well as illegal substances like heroin and fentanyl.

Opioids bind to receptors in the brain and send out signals that reduce pain, slow breathing and relax the body.

An opioid overdose occurs when the body is overloaded with either prescription or an illicit narcotic, causing respiration to slow to unsafe levels, perhaps leading to death.

Multiple dosages may be required, and symptoms may reappear, thus immediate medical help is still required for survival.

Arkansas Public Schools may decide to stock naloxone for use in emergencies to prevent the morbidity and mortality of opioid overdoses, the department of education said.

Districts are advised to adopt processes for stocking and administering anti-opioid medications, which should be included in school regulations.