Benton Community Schools join growing list of districts to make Narcan available in buildings

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 3:57 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -More Iowa schools are making sure they have Narcan on hand in case of an overdose. The medication Naloxone, known as Narcan, can reverse an opioid overdose. Iowa schools are getting doses for free.

An initiative through the state is providing Iowa schools Narcan kits to have in-house in case of an emergency. The Benton Community School District is taking part, staff will be trained next week on how to properly administer the life saving medication.

Iowa recorded a record number of Opioid related deaths last year.

The Area Substance Abuse Council is in contact with Iowa schools both big and small about having Narcan in their buildings.

”Schools have really gotten like their eyes wide open, they’re like okay finally I can have this. Because originally it wasn’t on the list for approved medications in schools,” said Ricki Hall, Prevention Specialist at ASAC in Cedar Rapids.

Stephanie Timmerman has been a nurse in the Benton Community School District for 20 years. She recalls only one incident where Narcan may have been helpful, but she believes it’s important to have.

”Being in rural Iowa response time from EMS can vary and time is of the essence,” Timmerman said.

School Resource Officer Tyler Brandt has Narcan with him as part of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

”We carry it in our medical bags in our patrol vehicles more than likely that’s where everybody’s is located. I have one in my office as well here at the high school,” said Brandt.

As the SRO for the whole district he rotates schools so he’s not always on site. In the case of an overdose, every minute can count.

“We have first responders here in town but the paramedic rig is, the closest one is Blairstown so that’s a you know a 10 minute drive so that’s the time frame you know it could be important,” Timmerman explained.

The Benton Community School District is one of the latest to make Narcan available in every building.

“It’s always good to have something, another tool in your toolbelt for some incident that may occur,” Brandt said.

He told us the Sheriff’s Department has Narcan on them often times in case of an accidental exposure. There are many concerns surrounding Fetanyl right now.

Fetanyl, which can be laced into other drugs, contributed to 83% of the most recent opioid deaths according to the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.