Legislation to add school nurses or other designated employees to those who can administer life-saving opiate antagonists has been signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt. Current law includes first-responders, such as emergency medical technicians, law enforcement and firefighters.
Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada, and Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, were principal authors of Senate Bill 85. As of July 1, the law will allow school medical personnel or an employee designated by the school’s administration to be able to administer opiate antagonists, a treatment that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, allowing time to seek emergency medical care.
“The eyes of the nation are on Oklahoma right now, focused on a trial that puts the opioid epidemic and its aftermath in the spotlight,” said McCortney. “The testimony we’ve already heard underscores how deadly this drug is. If this new law saves just one life, it will have been worth the effort. I’m grateful to Representative McEntire, our fellow members and to Governor Stitt for helping us get this bill across the finish line.”
SB 85, which was passed unanimously in both chambers, was a request from the State Department of Education. Not all schools have a nurse on staff full-time, if at all, so the bill allows administrators to designate other staffers to administer the medication to a student showing signs of an overdose. Under SB 85, those designated would undergo training by the Department of Health, law enforcement or another appropriate entity to learn how to recognize overdose symptoms, how to perform basic resuscitation techniques and how to properly administer an opiate antagonist.
“This is common-sense legislation needed to help save students’ lives in the event of a drug overdose,” McEntire said. “I’m glad to see this bill signed into law to give our schools clear guidance on how to react in these emergency situations.”