Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools passes Narcan policy unanimously, parents reflect

Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools votes unanimously

WINSTON-SALEM — Numbers from Forsyth County show that 22 minors have overdosed within the first three months of this year. The average age of those children is 11 years old.

Annie Vasquez with Forsyth Regional Opioid & Substance Use Team thinks that adding the life-saving drug to schools makes the biggest of difference.

“So I feel better that somebody at each of my kids’ school will know how to use Narcan, and will have it available to them,” said Vasquez.

Vasquez is an opioid survivor herself and says that this policy gives peace of mind for her own children.

“My personal story of making it out alive, I hope, will both inspire other folks that they can do it, or their family member can do it. But I also am here to advocate for all of those people that do use drugs now, that there is hope out there,” said Vasquez.

Andrea Scales lost her son Jeremiah Scales to fentanyl overdose and speaks about how this policy resonates.

I lost my son to unknowingly ingesting fentanyl, and this happened June 3rd of 2022. This coming Monday will be two years since his passing. Jeremiah was my only child and it makes me feel so good to be able to be apart of the change. This will change a life,” said Scales.

The school board passed the policy unanimously, with the end goal to carry Narcan in all of their schools.

Read the article on the ABC45 News website.

WS/FCS approves adding Narcan to its schools

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School leaders voted unanimously to add Narcan to its school district.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) voted unanimously to add Narcan to all its schools on Tuesday, May 28.

The drug can save the life of someone who has overdosed on opioids. 

School leaders said it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

“We just hope that we hopefully will never have to use it. But in the event that we needed to use it, then hopefully we would be able to save a life,” said WS/FCS Director of School Nurses Katie Key.

ABSS is in a similar process. The district said it’s researching Narcan dispensers.    

This plan is in the early stages; no timeline has yet been determined.

Read the article and watch the video on the WFMY News2 website.

DEA’s Pill Press Push

Pill presses are poorly-regulated machines that are an essential tool for drug counterfeiters. Watch DEA’s Pill Press Push and find out why we’re thrilled with the DEA’s new pill press website. Learn more in this video, and keep up with drug safety news at safemedicines.org

Wake County school board approves Naloxone policy

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) — On Tuesday, Wake County school officials took another step toward putting potentially life-saving medicine into public schools — countywide.

Wake County School Board members approved a new policy Tuesday that would require all schools in the county to keep a supply of Naloxone — also known by its brand name Narcan — and train faculty members on how to use it. Families who have been touched by the fentanyl epidemic say that’s a big win.

“The more we say fentanyl out loud without shame, the more people understand that anybody could die,” said Barb Walsh, a Cary mom and founder of the Fentanyl Victims Network of North Carolina.

Someone’s going to die because Naloxone wasn’t in school. And is that a risk they want to take?

Barb Walsh, founder of Fentanyl Victims Network of North Carolina

Barb’s daughter, Sophia, died in August 2021 after drinking from a water bottle that had the dangerous opioid mixed into it. Since then, Barb’s made it her mission to not only support families like hers but also promote life-saving medicine however she can. She founded the Fentanyl Victims Network in August 2022, one year after Sophia died.

“I have a fire extinguisher in my kitchen just in case I have a fire, that’s because I want one,” she said. “Naloxone is the same thing.”

In December, Barb attended a Wake County school board meeting, urging officials to consider requiring Naloxone be put into schools. Now, that’s one step closer to becoming reality, after a new policy was approved — and just needs to be voted on to become official.

“We don’t know where the threat is going to come from. But if we have a tool that can save a life, particularly one of our students’ lives, we want to do everything we can to take those steps,” said board chair Chris Heagarty.

According to state health statistics, Naloxone was used for suspected overdoses 21 times on school grounds statewide last year. Walsh said it’s not worth waiting for more.

“It may not have happened in North Carolina yet. But someone’s going to die because Naloxone wasn’t in school. And is that a risk they want to take?” she said.

Though there’s work to be done — only about 20% of North Carolina’s public school districts have Naloxone policies — the significance of Tuesday’s decision isn’t lost on Walsh.

“It doesn’t take an army. It doesn’t take a lobbyist. It takes a mom who’s lost a child to stand in front of the school board to make this happen. And that’s significant,” she said.

Funding for the new policy is not yet clear. Heagarty said they’ll be targeting possible state and federal funds in addition to county funding out of the superintendent’s budget. The policy will be discussed at a full board meeting in May, and if passed could be in place by next school year.

Read the orignal article and watch the video on the ABC11 News website.

Fentanyl Awareness Day @ NC General Assembly 5/1/24 fentvic.org

Be Seen ~ Be Heard ~ Be Remembered ~ Save Lives

DateWednesday 5/1/24
10 am press conference (outside) followed by visits with their Representative and Senator.
LocationNorth Carolina Legislative Building
16 West Jones Street
Raleigh NC 27601

Please RSVP to attend the event (optional).

EdTalks 2024 – Betsy Moore, Richland Creek Elementary School

EdTalks is modeled after the highly-regarded TEDtalks and was created by WakeEd Partnership to provide a public platform for Wake County educators to share their stories, their truths, and their experiences.

The event was held at Jones Auditorium on the campus of Meredith College in Raleigh, NC on March 21, 2024.

Sounding the alarm on fentanyl: Meet-up in Winston-Salem helps provide support to impacted families

Families who have lost loved ones to fentanyl throughout the state have the opportunity to come together in Winston-Salem Saturday, in an effort to seek support and also raise awareness.

Non-profit to offer naloxone to Dreamville attendees


Dreamville Music Festival organizers are ensuring attendees can have a good and safe time on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the festival announced they will have naloxone kits available at the festival.

Dreamville Music Festival organizers are ensuring attendees can have a good and safe time on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday, the festival announced they will have naloxone kits available at the festival.

Naloxone is a drug that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose. It is sold under the brand name Narcan.

Dreamville is partnering with This Must Be The Place to help distribute the kits. The group is a non-profit that helps distribute kits for various events, ranging from music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza to awards shows like the Grammy Awards.

“It is our goal to normalize naloxone and other overdose prevention tools in every corner of the country, because only then can we curb the deaths that continue to be caused by this unfortunate epidemic,” The charity said on its website.

William Perry with Be the Place said this is the third year the charity has worked at festivals to provide naloxone.

“We have passed out 50,000 of these kits, that resulted in 100 [out of] 100 overdose reversals,” Perry said.

Perry said while they may work out of festivals, they wanted to emphasize festivals are the best places to get the life-saving drug into the hands of people.

“You are going to have folks from all over coming into the Dreamville Festival [and] we can catch them when they are in one place. Due to a lot of barriers, they haven’t gotten the stuff,” he explained. “You’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”

Dreamville isn’t the only place offering or considering having naloxone.

In February, Wake County Public School System leaders said they recommend the drug in every school and a policy to train staff to use it. A month later, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first naloxone over-the-counter nasal spray, which hit shelves in September.

In Edgecombe County, the county jail will have a vending machine for Narcan.

Perry said he hopes the charity and its presence at Dreamville will help destigmatize the need for naloxone and help access the drug, which can be difficult to find.

“This is normalizing the care of others, which has been so impactful,” Perry said.

Perry said the group will distribute the naloxone near one of the entrances of the festival grounds, and graduate students from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will assist them.

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