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Health

NY schools training nurses in heroin overdose antidote

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School starts for most districts this week and next, and it’s the first time when New York schools can supply their nurses with a drug to reverse the effects of a drug overdose. Many districts are still weighing the pros and cons of the decision, but nurses in the western New York village of Dansville had a Naloxone training session Wednesday.

Naloxone is a drug that  stops an opioid overdose. State legislators created new rules and funding that allows districts to stock the medication in the case of an overdose on school grounds.

Dansville Central School District Superintendent, Paul Alioto says it’s an emergency tool that he wants his nurses to have on hand, like they stock epinephrine in the case of an allergic reaction.

"To get Naloxone in the hands of nurses, that’s really about saving lives. And I want them to be in a position to save a life if they have to," says Alioto.

Nurses from 11 Genesee Valley schools came to the training.

As schools start up, many have yet to decide whether they will adopt a policy about keeping Naloxone on campus. Some are concerned about potential liability. Alioto says he’s not concerned.

"We want to be in a position where we’re equipped to save a life if that’s necessary. And they can sort the paperwork out and we can deal with the courts later, but our first priority is to keep our kids safe," says Alioto.

While some attorneys are concerned about potential legal exposure, the general counsel of the New York State School Boards Associations calls the statute “liability proof.”