Florida bill would allow schools to administer opioid overdose reversal drug

Schools would not be held liable for injury during naxolone administration

ORLANDO, Fla. – A state Senate bill filed Thursday that would authorize Florida public schools to purchase and administer naxolone to reverse opioid overdoses, however school administrations would not be held liable for any injury as long as protocol was followed.

The proposal filed by Sen. Jason W.B. Pizzo, a Miami-Dade County Democrat, would allow public schools to purchase the drug naxolone, an opioid overdose reversal medication. If passed, the bill would take effect July 1 of this year, according to SB 1064.

In addition to being able to purchase and administer the drug at a fair-market, free or reduced price, school officials would also not be held liable for any injury when using the drug to help students.

If the bill passes, parents and guardians will receive a notice from the school administration that naxolone will be on campus and could possibly be administered to a child in the event of an opioid overdose.

When a school enters an agreement to purchase the drug, a protocol must be developed with a licensed physician. Any employee, physician or agent who would administer the drug must also be trained prior to action. 

Pizzo wrote on Facebook that three high school students who prepared a presentation on why schools should carry naloxone for the Miami-Dade County School Board also brought forth the issue to the Senate.

Genna Grodin, Asher Lieberman and Jolie Dreiling are three Miami-Dade high school students, who recently made a...

Posted by Jason Pizzo on Thursday, February 14, 2019

In September 2018, Florida was granted $27 million in federal funding to help fight the opioid crisis, which was part two of a two-year, $54 million grant the federal government awarded to the state to pay for treatment, counseling and medication to reverse drug overdoses. 

Bill 1064 comes nearly two years after Volusia County equipped almost all of its deputies with Narcan in July 2017. Instead of arresting people who overdose, Volusia County Sheriff's Office's policy would help victims by encouraging them to seek the help they need.

Dayona Beach school resource officers were prepped with Narcan to fight the opioid crisis in their district back in August 2017. During that prior June and July, there were 56 overdoses in Daytona Beach and officers were worried children would take the pills from their parents and follow the potentially deadly footsteps.