Board of Regents Gives Green Light to Narcan Use by School Employees

Terrence P. Murphy

September 17, 2015

VALHALLA, NY - Earlier this year New York State finally gave school nurses the ability to administer the lifesaving heroin antidote naloxone in schools. Today, the Board of Regents took this measure a step further by allowing all school employees to administer the opioid overdose drug also known as Narcan.

State Senator Terrence Murphy, who serves as the co-chairman of the Senate's Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Abuse said, "During our budget negotiations this was one issue I would not let fall by the wayside. Today's decision by the Board of Regents is a common sense measure that could potentially save lives. As a father of three kids, we should continue to be proactive, rather than reactive on this issue."

Under the new regulation, any school employee, including BOCES, charter school and non-public elementary or secondary school employees who have been properly trained to administer Narcan, can give it to any student or staff member in the event of an emergency.

Murphy was selected to represent New York earlier this summer at the National Conference of State Legislatures' conference on pain management in New Orleans. "This is a nationwide epidemic that is being spoken about to a national audience," he said. "Just last night, Presidential hopeful and former CEO of Hewlett Packer Carly Fiorina, announced she has lost a child to addiction. Today's action is a bold step as we continue to fight everyday to protect our kids."

According to reports, high school students who reported using heroin has more than doubled in New York State. In 2013 alone, there were 89,269 admissions into treatment facilities for heroin and prescription opioid abuse in New York, which was an increase of nearly 25,000 admissions since 2004. If used on someone who is not having an opioid related overdose, Narcan would not have any side effects on the individual.

In addition to serving as co-chairman of the Senate's Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Abuse, Senator Murphy also serves as the Chairman of the Administrative Regulatory Review Commission (ARRC). In this role, Senator Murphy monitors the rules and regulations proposed by New York's agencies. More information on Senator Murphy's duties in that capacity can be found here.