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Drug Overdose Antidote Not Used In Arizona Schools

Arizona is not one of the 41 states that allow nurses to administer naloxone, a heroin and prescription drug overdose antidote.

There are very strict restrictions on giving out naloxone prescriptions and emergency first responders are the only ones who can administer the drug legally. In June, the National Association of School Nurses urged every school nurse to have naloxone on hand.

Tami Tomasetti, a registered nurse with Apache Junction Unified School District said she doesn’t think her school needs naloxone in stock.

“At this time, I don’t feel it’s necessary for the school district because we do have a great fire department and our response time is great. So if we ever had an overdose we would call 911 at that time,” Tomasetti said.

While Tomasetti said drug overdose isn’t a problem in the Apache Junction district, the Office of National Drug Control Policy reported that the rate of underage drug-induced deaths in Arizona is higher than the national average.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This headline and story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of the word antidote.

Claire Caulfield was a reporter and Morning Edition producer at KJZZ from 2015 to 2019.