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New law will let Virginia schools administer Narcan

(WTAP)
Published: Mar. 11, 2019 at 4:14 PM EDT
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A new law could soon keep your child safe if a drug overdose happens on school grounds. The bill was just signed into law last week and could be implemented before the next school year.

"I got the idea from meeting teachers at Goochland High School and they explained that by the time they called for an ambulance, it could be too late,” said Delegate John McGuire, R-56th District.

McGuire proposed the bill that would let schools store Narcan and other anti-overdose agents, as well as allow nurses and school medical professionals to administer them.

“This bill is a step in the right direction, helping with the opioid crisis and maybe it could save a life,” he said.

In 2017 alone, the Virginia Department of Health reported 1,229 people died from opioid overdoses, the highest number in a decade. The bill received bipartisan support and passed unanimously in both houses of the General Assembly before it was signed by Governor Ralph Northam.

"We didn’t make it a mandate, but we’ve given all school levels the option of storing and administering, so it will be up to the school system,” said McGuire.

That means Narcan and other life-saving agents could be stored at elementary, middle, and high schools.

This law will take effect on July 1.