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Back To School: All Taunton public schools equipped with Narcan

Starting this school year, all 13 Taunton public schools will be equipped with Naloxone, known commonly as Narcan. (WJAR)

Starting this school year, all 13 Taunton public schools will be equipped with Naloxone, known commonly as Narcan.

Narcan reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

The school committee voted unanimously this summer.

"Our nurses have been trained in over a year in the administration of Narcan,” school committee member Carol Doherty said. “We have a growing problem in Taunton as well as other municipalities regarding the opioid addiction."

According to the Taunton Police Department, 318 people overdosed in 2016 – six of them under the age of 21. Thirty six people died.

Doherty said each school rescue kit will contain two doses of Narcan, which will be administered through the nose. The kits cost the district about $1,300.

"Compared to a life, no cost is too high a cost,” Doherty said.

Doherty, along with addiction support advocates in Taunton, said they don’t expect school nurses to have to use the Narcan, but they said it’s best to be prepared.

"A lot of the ways our young people start with this heroin addiction is from pill,” Learn 2 Cope founder Joanne Peterson said. “A lot of the times it comes from a friend's medicine cabinet."

Doherty said nurses could administer Narcan to anyone on school property. The district is protected by the Good Samaritan Law.

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