WESTFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- It's a sign of the times in the Cloverleaf School District in Medina County as the school board is considering a plan to stock the heroin antidote Narcan at the district’s high school, middle school and elementary school.
Deputy Mark Brooks is the school resource officer at Cloverleaf and said based on his experience in dealing with the danger posed by opioids, having Narcan available on campus is a wise strategy.
“We've had jailers who had casual contact with Fentanyl, heroin and Carfentanil that people brought into the jail and now we're treating them as a victim because they've now been exposed to this and they're seeing the effects,” said Deputy Brooks.
The superintendent of Cloverleaf Schools said the district has not had a serious problem with opioids up to this point, and he views having a supply of Narcan as a valuable insurance policy.
Dr. Daryl Kubilus Jr. told Fox 8, “There are a lot of people that come into our buildings for athletic events, music concerts...We don't know all of them and if something bad should happen, have an adverse reaction to heroin, we want to be prepared and we saw this as an opportunity to do that.”
The firefighters and paramedics that would respond to Cloverleaf in the event of a drug overdose or exposure are members of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. Studies have shown that their response time to the schools is between eight and eleven minutes.
“The problem is that these drugs will take effect in just a couple few minutes, three to five minutes. You're cutting oxygen to the brain and if you're waiting 11 minutes and your problem is three to five minutes old, that's some bad math,” said Deputy Brooks.
“Instead of having to wait those precious few minutes, we could save a life,” added Dr. Kubilus.
Supporters of the Narcan proposal reject any suggestion that the presence of the anti-overdose drug on campus would somehow enable or excuse drug use.
Deputy Brooks told Fox 8, “Much the same reason we have Epipens at the school, we have AEDs at the school, we have fire extinguishers at the school, because if we come across those specific problems, we can address those,” said Deputy Brooks. “We're certainly not trying to excuse or enable drug use by providing this solution for the problem.”
The superintendent said a policy committee is now studying the proposal and, if the plan is approved, it could be in place by next school year. He added that the Narcan would be paid for by a grant.