Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Why Is It So Hard to Access Rio’s Narcan?

Mother+Laura+Collanton+speaks+to+students+at+a+fentanyl+awareness+assembly+in+2022.
Mother Laura Collanton speaks to students at a fentanyl awareness assembly in 2022.

It only takes a couple of puffs of Naloxone to save a life, so why was this life-saving drug so hard to find at Rio?

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a drug that can help save those who are overdosing on fentanyl.

When trying to find out if Rio stocked it, I asked not only our staff, but people at the district, and I got contrasting answers.

According to Principal Cliff Kelly, while Rio had stocked and distributed some Narcan, the rest was sent back to the district to be redistributed among all the schools.

“We were one of the first schools in the district to have a fentanyl assembly,” Kelly said. “We had started handing (Narcan) out to parents, but got told to pack the Narcan up in boxes and send it back to the district office.”

However, Narcan was available at every school in the district as of December 2022, according to communication director Raj Rai.

Turns out, the admin wasn’t told where the Narcan was. After another round of emails, I found out where it was.

In the nurse’s office, I was shown eight boxes of Narcan in a cabinet, which apparently had been there since last December.

Why were they all in one place? Why was there so much confusion?

While the confusion could just be a simple lack of communication, my first question has yet to be answered. The Narcan is stored in a small, hard-tosee cabinet on the right side of the nurse’s office, and it’s soon to be under lock and key, with only a few people having access.

In the case of an emergency on the other side of campus or after school hours, would it get there on time?

Luckily, there is a solution to this problem: Keep the Narcan with Rio’s four AEDs, stocked in the office, the gym, the cafeteria and on the golf cart that drives around school. This is the way many districts, including Davis, keep Narcan at the ready.

This would be the quickest way to get the Narcan anywhere in the school, and staff wouldn’t have to wait to unlock a cabinet to get access to this life-saving product.

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Will Mann, Sports Editor

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  • LoganFeb 5, 2024 at 11:04 PM

    After going to the fentanyl assembly, I was grateful that something like Narcan existed that can counteract fentanyl. But now, hearing that we may not be using it to our advantage makes me shocked. I think it would be a great idea to distribute the Narcan around the school to make them more accessible.

    Reply
  • Katie GhazanfariFeb 4, 2024 at 3:44 PM

    I agree, if we are showing that we are aware of it with an assembly, then we need to also think about addressing the problem and keeping this life-saving drug on hand in case we unfortunately have to use it.

    Reply
  • Katie HFeb 4, 2024 at 2:04 PM

    Such an important issue, I had no idea how hard it was to access! Great article and very well-written.

    Reply
  • Mia GoldenFeb 2, 2024 at 10:35 AM

    This is a very important issue. Narcan is life-saving, and I like how you highlighted its importance and made concrete suggestions as to how Rio can make Narcan more accessible. I hope that they move the Narcan and make sure students know where it is located, since I didn’t even know we had it on campus until reading this article.

    Reply
  • Aidan HewittJan 23, 2024 at 9:42 AM

    It is crazy to me that Narcan is so far from reach for students who might be in need. I hope that Rio can solve this problem so that in the case of an OD a student can be saved.

    Reply
  • leaJan 23, 2024 at 9:38 AM

    I really liked your article, it was very well written, good job!

    Reply