Iowa City schools to implement Narcan to fight opioid overdoses

The Iowa City Community School District School Board voted to implement Naloxone in all schools.


Johnny Jarnagin

Iowa City Community School District School board members listen to speakers during a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022.

Virginia Russell, News Reporter

Licensed nurses in Iowa City schools will soon be able to administer Naloxone, also known as Narcan, to treat student, staff, and faculty opioid overdoses on school grounds. 

The Iowa City Community School District school board unanimously approved the implementation of Naloxone. Each district school will have the drug on campus after the Tuesday night decision.

Each school will have two doses of Naloxone in the building which will be administered by licensed school nurses and trained staff members. Staff members and personnel must complete the required training in order to administer the drug.

This policy implementation comes in light of the steadily increasing rise in opioid overdoses in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse website. 

Jessica Jimmerson, Iowa City schools coordinator of health services, said the training methods for staff members will involve the assistance of University of Iowa medical professionals. 

“As far as the implementation process goes, I have pharmacists from the University of Iowa Hospitals, which actually do permanent training and assistance with signs of opioid overdose as well as how to administer the medication, and our nurses will go off into buildings and provide education to staff members that will be trained to administer medication,” she said.

Jimmerson said the use of the drug would be a strong tool to help protect the district.

Iowa City Community School District Board President Ruthina Malone thanked Jimmerson for her guidance in explaining the policy. 

“I know that this is a form of preparation for our district, just like we do for intruder training, we need to make sure that we’re equipping our staff with all the tools at hand to deal with events of emergency, so I do appreciate that’s being brought to the board,” Malone said.