‘If You Make A Mistake With Heroin, You are Useless’: A Plan To Stop Opioid Overdoses In Colleges – WLRN
Florida schools may soon be equipped with the drug that reverses heroin overdoses.
A bill being reviewed by lawmakers would allow schools to receive the drug naloxone and allow school staff to administer it to students they believe are over-supplied.
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The proposal comes when the Miami-Dade County School Board has sued the manufacturers and distributors of painkillers. The district claims it needs to derive resources from the classroom to provide nursing and mental health to students and staff affected by opioid addiction.
State Senator Jason Pizzo proposed the bill after some local high school students approached him with the idea. Pizzo, a Democrat from North Miami Beach whose district includes parts of the city of Miami, said his plan will address some of the overlooked victims of the opioid crisis: children.
"I'm a father, I have 13-year-old twin boys and I've seen them for 15 minutes this morning, I see them for 45 minutes tonight – maybe, if I'm lucky, one and a half hours if They do not think I'm boring, but they spend most of their life at school, most of the time a week, most of the year, "Pizzo said," anything that could possibly protect my sons' lives, why should not we stand up for it? "
Pizzo said he experimented with alcohol and marijuana as a child, but the effort was not as high as they are for today's students.
Maybe 30 years ago, when I was 13 years old, I drank something out of a parent's cupboard or smoked something that I had no idea what it was, "said Pizzo." Today, a lot is different, because if you make that mistake with fentanyl, you're dead. If You make a mistake with heroin, you're dead. "
Pizzo modeled the legislation after a law passed a few years ago that allowed schools to procure epinephrine auto-injectors – better known as EpiPens – and to administer to students with life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
Due to the language of the invoice, schools can optionally participate. The Republican-led legislature is less likely to endorse a bill that requires schools without funding.
Pizzo does not believe, however, that the implementation of the bill is costly. He said it was likely that schools could get manufacturers from naloxone-free or at low cost, and training for the administration was easy.
Legislation set its first stop in legislation and was unanimously supported in the Senate Committee. It would have to clear two more committees before it can vote in the Senate.
The legislative period begins on January 14th.