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New Legislation Proposed to Stock Emergency Drug in Schools and Reverse Opioid Overdoses

Local health officials say legislation that would allow Michigan school districts to stock and administer naloxone, an antidote to treat an opioid overdose in an emergency, is a good idea.

Of the 109 drug deaths in Kent County last year, according to the medical examiner, 32 were caused by heroin – up from 19 the previous year. Deaths from painkillers like oxycontin also rose last year, from 28 in 2014 to 39 in 2015. Can’t solve heroin epidemic through prosecutions alone. U.S. Attorney says “Regrettably opioid abuse is reaching down to younger and younger people and this legislation has the ability to save the life of someone who is overdosing,” said Mike Reagan, chief external relations officer for Cherry Health which operates school-based health centers in the Grand Rapids and Cedar Springs school districts.

“We want school systems to have it. There should be the capacity to be more responsive to things we know are dangerous.”

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