DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Public Schools district is adding a new life-saving tool to their tool kit.
Naloxone or Narcan, which can reverse opioid overdoses, will soon be available throughout all DMPS buildings.
"The Des Moines Public School Board did vote unanimously, 7-0, in having at least two stocked doses of Narcan in each one of our buildings," said Melissa Abbott, health services supervisor for the district.
With doses in more than 60 buildings, the Narcan isn't just for students and staff, it's for anyone who enters.
Abbott said she pushed for the medicine because there have been incidents when Narcan could have been helpful during the school day.
"Last year I polled all of the nurses, and based off of what they reported, they would have used Narcan as an intervention 11 times," Abbott said.
Andrew Allen, president and CEO of YSS, an organization that helps teens dealing with drug addictions, said this life-saving tool is a step in the right direction. He hopes it will inspire the school district to do more to tackle the topic of drug use.
"Really trying to prevent early onset of usage, but also realizing when things do begin to become an issue, treatment is available," Allen said.
Abbott said adding the medicine to their buildings won't stop them from following other safety protocols, it will just enhance those that already exist.
"At the end of the day, we as nurses have every tool available in our tool kit, and this is just one added intervention that we can have and we can offer early," Abbott said.
Buildings are scheduled to be stocked with Narcan by Thanksgiving break.