Cove ISD staff train in use of Narcan as both House and Senate pass measure
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to the Leader-Press
In anticipation of Texas Senate Bill 629 being signed into law which would require public schools to keep an opioid antagonist medication, such as Narcan, on campuses, Copperas Cove ISD staff voluntarily trained in how to correctly use the reversing nasal spray should the need arise.
The bill, which easily passed both the House and Senate, is a response to a growing number of youth overdose deaths. The bill received final approval on May 25 and is headed to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. Abbott has until June 18 to sign or veto bills. If signed, SB 629 will become law immediately.
"Our country is fighting an epidemic. By making it easier to obtain Narcan and train more people, it could save many lives,” Williams/ledger Elementary School Nurse Marcy Moreno said. “I just wish more people would get trained. It’s easy and you could save someone’s life.”
Narcan is now available for use on every CCISD campus. Staff members filled the seats in the Williams/Ledger Elementary cafeteria for an after-school training by campus nurses on how to administer the nasal spray.
"I took the training because there are so many young people who are overdosing. I want to be a part of the solution,” Williams/Ledger Elementary interventionist Gail Kraning said. “The training was very interesting. A police officer came in and explained about drugs and which ones are in our area.”
Narcan nasal spray is a user-friendly device and was designed to be used at home without the need for medical training, said Moreno.
“Spray into one nostril and wait two to three minutes. If there is no response, spray in the other nostril. The box comes with two devices,” Moreno said. “A doctor’s prescription is not needed for Narcan. If more Texans were educated on how to administer Narcan, they would be able to save lives.”
S. C. Lee Junior High School Nurse Denise Ingram said it is beneficial to have Narcan available both at home and at work.
“We have to also remember it could be an accidental or unintentional overdose especially in our elderly,” Ingram said. “They forget they took their pain medication and accidentally overdose."
Free Narcan may be ordered at https://redcap.uthscsa.edu/REDCap/surveys/?s=8NDKCYKXJW It is also available for purchase at local pharmacies.
“We have been seeing an epidemic in our country of Fentanyl deaths. Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine,” Moreno said. “According to the CDC, 107,000 deaths in 2021 related to Fentanyl overdoses occurred nationwide. Just in Texas, we compiled 5,000 deaths in 2022. I hope this will be a wakeup call for people who have an addiction and these individuals seek the help they need.”