School trustee says educators should go get Narcan

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows board member wants kits in schools

With the opioid antidote Narcan now more widely available, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school trustee Susan Carr is hopeful school district staff members will have it with them if there is an overdose in a school.

On Dec. 20 the province announced the overdose-reversing naloxone kits would be more readily available across B.C., free of charge.

They will be in pharmacies, and pharmacists will be able to train those interested in how to use Narcan kits.

“I’m glad they’re making it so widely available that you can just walk into a pharmacy and get it,” she said.

Carr hopes school principals, teachers or other staff go and get the kits and training.

“If they feel comfortable getting that training on their own, they can just go to a pharmacy.”

Carr has been critical of senior government for not having a strategy to deal with the prospect of a student overdose.

“The province is very reluctant to mandate an overdose first aid strategy in B.C. schools,” she said.

She wants to see a Narcan kit in every middle school and high school in the province. In October 2016 the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School Board passed a motion by Carr, the vice-chair, to ask the ministers of health, education and children and families to create provincial standards around training and administering the opioid antidote Naloxone in schools.

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall responded “we are not designating schools a high-risk environment.”

“I would like to reassure educators that youth aged 10-18 comprise a very small subset of fatal overdoses,” said Kendall, and noted there has never been an overdose death in a B.C. school.

Carr said there are fatal overdoses in that age group every year – 12 in 2016 and 21 through October 2017.

“Are we just lucky nobody has experienced an overdose in a school?”

The number of overdose deaths has almost doubled in the past year. From January to October of 2016 there were 683 deaths in B.C. compared 1,208 over the same period of 2017.

Carr asked whether it will take a tragedy in a school to change government policy. She said distributing the free kits to pharmacies has been a long time coming.

“It’s a good thing, but this health crisis was declared in 2016, and it’s now 2018, and a lot of people have died.”

Just Posted

Moose get first win of the season

Tougher competition in women’s hockey league

Marauders lose to Grizzlies

Pitt Meadows JV team will get a rematch next week

Marijuana moving in Maple Ridge

Agrima ramp up as recreational pot now legal

Ridge RCMP officer helps recover stolen electric bike

Keep good records of property, police advise.

Still not enough teachers in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows schools

Union wins in arbitration, calls for more hiring

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

VIDEO: Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank

Police believe incident on Thursday night to be targeted

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read