Oregon health and education officials to release opioid toolkit for schools

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As fentanyl and opioid overdose deaths continue to rise, schools in Oregon will soon have access to the lifesaving drug naloxone and be trained to respond to overdoses.

The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education announced that a Fentanyl and Opioid Response Toolkit for Schools will soon be released. The toolkit will help schools develop an emergency protocol for administering naloxone, often called Narcan, to reverse opioid overdoses.

The toolkit offers resources to help train staff and provide prevention education. Along with this, it details how naloxone can be accessed, administered and stored.

“The increase in opioid overdose deaths is a public health crisis, and schools are at the heart of Oregon’s communities. Unfortunately, this trend is expected to continue as Oregon has continued to see an increase in accidental overdose deaths from fentanyl, said OHA Director Patrick Allen.

Earlier this year, Portland Public Schools and the Oregon City School District announced they would be carrying naloxone. While Oregon City had previously scheduled a vote in April, the decision came just a week after two Portland teenagers died of fentanyl overdoses.

More than 100,000 accidental overdose deaths have been recorded between May 2020 and April 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fentanyl accounted for 64% of these deaths.

In Oregon alone, fentanyl-related overdoses are said to have increased by 74% from 2019-2020.

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