Faith in Action

Narcan

Mariyshaa Mahimai

Mariyshaa Mahimai, Staff Writer

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According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were 1,762 deaths due to opioid in Michigan of 2016. In 2015, people in Michigan wrote 96.1 opioid prescriptions per 100 people. In those 1,762 deaths, there could be children who were affected by this or children who committed such a thing. In addition, adults who have died could have been addicted to drugs when they were teenagers or would have transformed into drug abusers because of some type of incident. Like how the Deacon from the Church said before, these drug abusers could be prisoners or people from gangs. At the same time, the prescriptions would have been given to adults or teenagers who were pain from a surgery or from a money-minded doctor which lead to getting these people slowly into getting addicted.
According to the Detroit Free Press, there is a new Michigan law that is limiting the number of opioids and drugs a doctor can prescribe to a patient or patients. This law was put into action on July 1 of 2018. Dr. Nabil Sibai is a doctor at Henry Ford Health system talks about patients with acute pain do not really need medications for more than seven days. Doctors like Mr. Sibai are shown to be good doctors versus the doctors that really look towards money from drug companies.
According to The Detroit News, the opioid is increasing in twenty-one counties in Michigan. At the same time, the nation has decreased the number of prescriptions each year from the years 2010-2015, but the amount prescribed in 2015 got higher comparing it to the year 1999. During this time, is when Michigan’s death rate increased than the usual amount. This extra increment is just from opioids and other types of drugs only. The increment could also be the teenagers that were mentioned earlier.
Like mentioned before, University of Michigan is training school nurses to use Narcan sprays. This is being done by Gina Dahlem who is a clinical assistant at U Of M. She also had sessions for officers and community people of Southeast Michigan. She stated, “ Rates of opioid use and overdoses are increasing in young adults in Washtenaw County and it’s just not here.” Dahlem encourages every person who knows someone who is struggling with the opioid problem to have a Narcan spray for safety. “ As more people are equipped with naloxone, the quicker we are able to respond to overdoses and prevent death,” says Gina Dahlem. Dahlem also said using Narcan does not encourage drug users to beget more high or use more drugs. Narcan may have some bad withdrawal symptoms which could be hard. However, Narcan is related to reducing the amount of drug use. “Studies have shown that naloxone does not increase drug use, but it is associated with a self-reported decrease in drug use,” says Dahlem.
Now the University of Michigan is training all these school nurses which show there are probably a good amount of kids on drugs.
If schools were to be asked on why they should have Narcan sprays, they give us a ton of reasons on why or why not they should or should not have Narcan sprays.
According to the Livingston Daily, Brighton Schools is the first school in Livingston County to train their nurses by using Narcan. The school board voted for this law to be passed. “The move is a preventive measure, not a reaction to any drug overdoses on school property,” says the Superintendent of Brighton High School. The school nurse has the responsibility to make sure there is Narcan in the school building, and responsible for their personal training with Narcan. A nurse named Wendy Plave talks about six of her other co-workers were trained to use Narcan and thinks it is important to have a policy like this. “Being prepared to manage and respond to medical emergencies at school is vital to positive outcomes,” says Plave.
Now let’s be honest here, pretty much the only people who can immediately take care of children are school nurses. According to EveryNurse.org, school nurses help students with their physical and emotional health. School nurses help in forming a healthy and safe environment for children. Communication skills with families of those kids are very important because to notify parents of injuries or any problems for that child.
According to the National Association of School Nurses. Inc, it talks about schools should be responsible to respond to different types of emergencies. Also, the school nurse should be the first person to respond to certain emergencies. This website talks about giving a second chance for their loved ones through the use of Narcan. As far the research has been done, wouldn’t teenagers still be addicted to opioids or find a way to continue on their life of addiction? It mostly depends on the community they live in, whom they live with, whom they hang out with. However, only that individual can decide whether or not to take drugs.
As stated by lhsfna.org, Naloxone is now available without a prescription. Narcan is now starting to be purchased by people, and a part of their first aid kit. This can be used by adults more of adults going to work. At the same time, employers have to be trained to use this nasal spray or injection. An opportunity like this is really helpful to a lot of people. A thing like this can be helpful to themselves or others surrounding them. Think of a scenario that involves a worker seeing another co-worker all tired, exhausted, and probably even have a hard time breathing. Deaths and other health problems are increasing due to opioids or the overdose of opioids, therefore surgeon Jerome Adams is encouraging people to have a Narcan spray bottle at hands for certain emergencies. In September of 2018, lhsfna workers learned that 24% of construction workers are connected with opioids. This is the highest amount of opioids used by any types of workers.
Now, Narcan is coming without prescriptions showing that maybe there could be a chance of an increase in the use of opioids. Let’s just think a little logically here. If there is the offering of Narcan, wouldn’t people want to use drugs or opioids thinking that they would be saved? According to shatterproof.org, studies have shown that the increase of Narcan use does not increase the use of drugs or opioids. The good things are there are not many risks to taking Narcan.
So people are safe from more opioid use, but how do you know if someone has an opioid overdose? The signs are pinpoint pupils, the person may have a hard time breathing, they could be really sleepy meaning they could be really high, have different color lips or fingers, snoring, gurgling, arms and legs are not in the proper form, and so on. When a person is on drugs, they must be doing abnormal activities or look abnormal. Overall, it mostly depends on how much drugs they are taking and when and how they are taking it.
Where do you even get naloxone? Is it available at local pharmacies? According to shatterproof.org, two approved products which are the nasal spray and auto-injector are available at pharmacies. These are the over the counter drugs so no prescription is needed like mentioned before. Your local Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens carry Narcan. Narcan cost about twenty dollars or even less with insurance, without insurance Narcan may cost about $63.50. If you have coupons, the cost could decrease. The cost can vary and is not consistent throughout.
At the CVS pharmacy website, it talks about how to use Narcan and where to use them. It also talks about how to identify overdoses and to call the emergency and wait until help arrives. To add on, the website also answers the frequently asked questions about naloxone.
Let’s say you see a person who may look like they just overdosed on drugs, how would you help them meaning how would you use a Narcan spray? In order to use a Narcan spray, you must put your thumb on the bottom of the plunger and have two fingers on the nozzle. Next, place the nozzle in the patient’s nose and make sure the nozzle is touching the bottom of the patient’s nose. Finally, spray the liquid through the nozzle to the inside of the patient’s nose.
Naloxone acts in about two to three minutes and does not act immediately. If the person does not wake up, emergency care should be called. The naloxone would wear off from about an half-an-hour to two and a half hour. Now, Narcan does not really have very harmful risks but make sure you are not using it on a pregnant woman. Make sure you are not using it on someone who is totally fine. According to ashealth.org, naloxone does not work on someone who overdosed on something else besides opioids; Narcan only works with opioids.

People have their own thoughts on naloxone, such as the use of it or whether or not if this spray should be kept in public areas or not. Now, I asked the staff members questions at Divine Child High School involving naloxone and their thoughts on it. Counselor, Leslie Rohr, says the attendance office should have a Narcan spray. One question I asked Mrs. Rohr was if she knew anyone who carries a Narcan bottle. She answered saying that she doesn’t carry a spray, but then she knows people who have carried sprays. Mrs. Rohr helps with a company called Hope not Handcuffs. It is a program to help people addicted to narcotics and their families. People who help there are called “Angels.” Rohr states, “Many of the angels personally lost a loved one to overdose.” I asked her what was her thoughts on naloxone where she said that she is happy to have a thing like this. Contrarily, I asked her the question of how the use of drugs and opioids go against the Catholic faith/ against the teaching of Divine Child High School. Rohr personally thinks it is wrong to use drugs on our body which was created by God. “The choice to put drugs in our body is sinful,” says Mrs. Rohr. I also asked her a question is she knows if the school has dealt with anyone who has used drugs in the past. She told me that she has that this school has found people with drugs in their lockers.
https://highcharts.statista.com/
This chart shows the most abused drugs in the US. When in the US, this involves the state of Michigan. Drugs could be street or prescription drugs that were found in students lockers which is referring to what Mrs. Rohr was talking about.
Questions were also asked to Mike Courage, who is part of the administration at Divine Child. Questions that were asked were similar to questions that I asked Mrs. Rohr. The first question that was asked was, “Do you think this school should have Narcan?” Mr. Courage answered back saying that he needs to know more background information such as the cost and how to administer it. I then told him about how different schools have Narcan and are training their nurses with it. I gave him examples of school safety items in the building such as having defibrillators or fire extinguishers, but chances that there was never a heart attack or fire. I also talked about students using drugs outside of school and coming to a football game all overdosed. He stated, “I’m not opposed to it.” He does consider the use of naloxone, but he thinks everyone needs to agree with having the spray. I asked the question with the use of opioids against the Catholic faith. Mr. Courage said if we do bad things we are not acting to God’s will. Mr. Courage finally stated, “We are called as a community to see the good in all people.”

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The student news site of Divine Child High School
Narcan