NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- School nurses in New York will now be allowed to administer Narcan to students who suffer seizures from an overdose of heroin or painkillers.
As part of the new state budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature approved the use of the medicine, also known as naloxone, that reverses the effects of an overdose, as well as $272,000 in funding, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.
"By making this investment to provide naloxone kits and training for schools, we are continuing to save lives in the fight against opioid use and addiction," Cuomo said in a news release. "This is an epidemic that disproportionately impacts young New Yorkers and has caused far too much needless tragedy in every corner of the state."
New York Approves Use Of Heroin-Overdose Antidote At Schools
Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn applauded the move.
"It was outrageous that nurses in schools weren't allowed to utilize this life-saving drug previously," she said.
"This epidemic is everywhere. And our schools have to be able to address it should it happen on campus," Hahn added.
The use of heroin has been skyrocketing in recent years. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of heroin overdose deaths increased fivefold from 2003 to 2013, the last year for when statistics were available.
In response, more municipalities have been equipping first responders with Narcan kits and training on how to administer it.
"There have been dozens, dozens of people who did not die, who would have died in our county over the past few years had there not been for Narcan," said Nassau County Health Commissioner Lawrence Eisenstein.
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