Legislation will make lifesaving medication available in schools

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) to fight opioid overdose was signed into law today. Senate Bill 805 was part of a two-bill package that will allow Michigan school districts to stock and administer naloxone, a medication that helps combat drug overdoses.

“The opioid epidemic has claimed the lives of far too many young people, so if we can save a single life by making naloxone more accessible in schools, that’s a success,” said Sen. Ananich, who also served on the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force.

Senate Bill 805, introduced by Sen. Ananich, and Senate Bill 806, introduced by Sen. Dale Zorn (R–Ida) —provides specific requirements that would have to be adhered to should a school district decide to obtain naloxone. These requirements include:

  • There must be at least two employees in the school district that are trained on how to administer the drug.
  • The training must be approved by a licensed professional nurse.
  • School personnel must call 911 if they believe a pupil is having an overdose.
  • School personnel must notify parents, or legal guardians of students, who were administered the drug, and encourage the parent or guardian to seek substance abuse treatment for the pupil.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury deaths in the U.S., and unintentional, fatal drug poisonings in Michigan have quadrupled since 1999. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future survey, at least one in 12 high school seniors have used prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons.

“Our work here isn’t done, but today we’ve taken a step in the right direction,” Sen. Ananich said. “Saving lives must continue to be our goal as we work together to tackle this epidemic on all fronts — including prevention, treatment and enforcement.”