Mundelein High to stock anti-overdose drug

  • Mundelein High School officials are planning to stock the drug commonly known as naloxone to treat heroin and prescription-drug overdoses. This is one type of the available kits. Other schools stocking the anti-opiate include Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire and Barrington High School.

      Mundelein High School officials are planning to stock the drug commonly known as naloxone to treat heroin and prescription-drug overdoses. This is one type of the available kits. Other schools stocking the anti-opiate include Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire and Barrington High School. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

Concerned about the region's worsening heroin problem, Mundelein High School officials soon will stock a drug designed to quickly reverse opiate overdoses.

"We view this as a proactive measure that can save a life, whether it is a student, staff member or guest." Superintendent Kevin Myers said Wednesday, a day after the school board approved the plan.

The medicine, known generically as naloxone, blocks or reverses the effects of opiates such as heroin or certain painkillers.

It comes in an easy-to-use delivery system, similar to the injections used to treat severe allergic reactions. The medicine can be injected into a patient's hip, thigh or upper arm.

State law allows school nurses to administer naloxone to anyone they believe may be suffering a heroin or prescription-drug overdose. As such, the medicine will be secured in a nurse's cabinet, Myers said.

Mundelein High administrators are working with local police to get the drug and the necessary training, Myers said.

Myers is unaware of any heroin overdoses at Mundelein High.

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But even if the doses are never needed, board member Tami Forman thinks it's a smart purchase.

"There's no reason not to be prepared," Forman said.

Lincolnshire's Stevenson High School garnered headlines earlier this month after administrators announced it was taking the same step. Barrington High School is planning a similar purchase.

Naloxone already is stocked in Wheaton-Warrenville Unit District 200's two high schools and the four schools in Glenbard High School District 87, among others.

Police officers throughout the suburbs have begun carrying the drug to prevent fatal overdoses, too. Reports of successful treatments are becoming more and more common.

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