Whether it is during an assembly or within a traditional health class, nurses are stepping in to provide drug abuse education. The nice part about this is that there is a special bond with many children and the school nurse. Many children feel comfortable telling them things about their life that they may not tell others within the school community. If this bond is strong enough, they may be able to save their life if experimental drug use occurs.

The startling fact is that overdosing numbers are increasing during the last decade. Schools are responding in a way that we may not have expected. Many are taking a proactive approach to try to warn students of the dangers of drug use which includes death from overdosing. A more controversial step has been to obtain waivers for school nurses to be able to administer Narcan. Narcan is the brand name of a medication called naloxone. Naloxone is a shot or nasal spray that can be administered to reverse the effects of an overdose from heroin and other painkillers that have opium in them.

The reason for this is that more students in middle and high school are reporting that they have come to class after getting high. One day a student may arrive, and the only thing that could save them from an accidental overdose death is Narcan. School nurses note that educating young children about the dangers of drugs is key, but for those that do not stop there they want to have the ability to save a life. School nurses need to talk with their Board of Education about the pros and cons of this approach. Each state may have their own process that needs to be done in order to get this process started. In some areas, local EMS will be providing schools with  naloxone and training them on its proper usage. This is also a way to promote community involvement and awareness about drug prevention.