PHILLIPS UNVEILS FEDERAL NALOXONE IN SCHOOLS LEGISLATION
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-03) and Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH-14) announced the introduction of their bipartisan bill, School Access to Naloxone Act (HR 3065). The legislation, modeled after the 2013 School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act which supported the rollout of EpiPens nationwide, would incentivize stocking and training on naloxone in schools. Naloxone is a FDA-approved, over-the-counter medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. The rate of fentanyl overdose deaths rose 279% since 2016 and the number of adolescent overdose deaths in the United States nearly doubled since 2019.
Rep. Phillips held a press conference on Thursday at the Minnesota State Capitol in partnership with the Governor’s Office, local activists, lawmakers, and recovery advocates to announce the legislation.
“Representation begins with listening, and what I heard resulted in the introduction of this bill,” said Congressman Phillips. “Before I was first sworn into office in 2019, I heard from constituents of all backgrounds about the toll opioids were taking on their families and our communities. While stemming the domestic and cross-border flow of deadly opioids will take time, we can prevent overdose deaths immediately. Overdoses claimed the lives of almost 1,000 adolescents last year and requiring schools to have naloxone available for emergencies is an inexpensive, safe, and proven way to protect our children.”
“The number of young Americans dying due to an overdose doubled in 2020, underscoring the reality that the opioid epidemic is impacting Americans of all ages, locations, and socioeconomic statuses,” said Congressman Joyce. “While I will continue to support substance abuse prevention efforts, it is also critical to make drugs, like Narcan, available in schools to help reverse overdoses. If we can increase access to this drug, we can save lives.”
The bill would expand eligibility under the Public Health Services Act Section 544 program Grants for Reducing Overdose Deaths to provide new funding opportunities specifically directed at providing schools with support to access and administer naloxone. The Grants for Reducing Overdose Deaths program is already authorized and appropriated under existing law. The grants would be open to entities (states, localities, districts, or tribes) that require 1) schools to stock naloxone 2) staff to be trained on its administration and 3) civil liability protection for trained personnel who administer naloxone in a school setting.
School Access to Naloxone Act is endorsed by The National Association of School Nurses. Reps. Joyce, Bacon, Craig, Crenshaw, Fitzpatrick, Guest, Pettersen, Sherrill, Spanberger, Tonko, Trone, and Wild are original co-sponsors.
The full text of the bill can be found here.