Supervisors Approve Narcan Distribution for Local Schools

SUPERVISORS APPROVE NARCAN DISTRIBUTION FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS

SAN JOSE – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors today voted to allocate $135,000 in State funds toward the distribution of Narcan, an emergency treatment that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose; the distribution effort will be targeted to local high schools. The Board also received updates regarding the purchase and distribution of Narcan and recommendations for other harm reduction efforts.

The report, issued by the County Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD), was in response to a referral from County Supervisor Cindy Chavez in June encouraging the County to ramp up efforts around the purchasing and distribution of Narcan.

“I join Supervisor Chavez in her sense of urgency,” said County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who serves as Chair of the County’s Health and Hospital Committee. “We have young people in the North County and West Valley (represented by Simitian) who are affected by this crisis.”

As a former school board member, Simitian expressed concern that some schools have been hesitant to make Narcan kits accessible on school campuses. “When you say, ‘wouldn’t you like to have this resource available?’ The reaction is, ‘well we don't have a problem’,” he said. “And maybe some places don't, but frankly I'm inclined to think that the problem is pretty pervasive.”

In response to the concerns raised by Simitian and Chavez, the Behavioral Health Department is working with various County departments and community partners to address the growing fentanyl crisis through education and outreach, in addition to identifying opportunities to expand the availability of Narcan kits and fentanyl test strips.

The County is allocating $135,000 to purchase 28 Narcan kits for each high school in the County that wants one. In partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the Behavioral Health Department will distribute the kits starting this fall and offer training to staff on how to use Narcan.

The Behavioral Health Department will also make efforts to increase the availability of Narcan kits and fentanyl test strips at venues that are typically frequented by young adults, such as bars and restaurants. Narcan kits are also available at any of the Santa Clara County addiction medicine clinics.

Through the Santa Clara County Opioid Overdose Prevention Project (SCCOOPP), the Behavioral Health Department has worked with community partners since 2015 to help reduce opioid overdose and deaths in Santa Clara County. Over the last five years, this effort has resulted in the distribution of more than 10,000 Narcan kits to law enforcement agencies, first responders, the courts, County contract agencies, businesses, community-based organizations that serve the unhoused population, schools, and higher education institutions.

The County expects several million dollars in funding from opioid lawsuits to provide additional funding for Narcan distribution and outreach.

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Children & Families
Healthcare

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