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 board of education vote unanimously to bring Narcan to classrooms

School leaders say they’re hoping to have this in place for the 2024-25 academic year. It’s a decision that comes after the community expressed the need for more school resources following a rise in opioid deaths in Forsyth County.


Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board members voted unanimously to bring Narcan to the classrooms. School leaders say they’re hoping to have this in place for the 2024-25 academic year. It’s a decision that comes after the community expressed the need for more school resources following a rise in opioid deaths in Forsyth County.

Annie Vasquez, a substance use health educator came to Tuesday’s night’s board meeting in hopes the Narcan proposal would pass.

“When I was 17, I started using heroin. I’m very lucky that I did not overdose at the school system. We did not have Narcan when I was in active addiction, so it’s a very different, just, area,” Vasquez said.

As a mother and 20 years clean herself, Vasquez says this decision is a breath of fresh air.

According to data from Forsyth County Behavioral Health Services, as of Monday, there have been 17 overdose deaths so far this year. EMS has responded to more than 700 overdose-related calls.

A total of 1,583 cases were reported last year. That would mean that through Memorial Day, overdose calls in the county could increase by 11% from 2023 to 2024.

Andrea Scales is also sitting in for that vote on Tuesday. Her son, Jeremiah, died in June 2022 after unknowingly consuming fentanyl. She says this vote is a win for both of them.

“Sitting in that room today, I carried him in here with me,” Scales said. “And we were both rooting for this policy to pass, and knowing that it has for the upcoming school year is amazing, it’s remarkable, and it needed to take place. And I’m so glad this is going to save lives.”

According to the draft policy, the Forsyth County Health Department will supply Narcan to schools for free. It will also offer annual training to teachers and staff on how to administer it and where it is to be stored.

According to the policy, Narcan isn’t required to be available for activities off school grounds, like field trips or athletic events.

Read the article and watch the video on the WXII News 12 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.

‘Fentanyl is everywhere.’ Wake schools wants to be ready to treat opioid overdoses.

Wake County schools will now be required to make sure that they’ve got employees who can treat opioid overdoses on campus.

The Wake County school board approved Tuesday a new policy on the emergency use of Naloxone, which can reverse an opioid overdose when given in time. Every Wake school will be required to have at least three employees who are trained in how to administer Naloxone, which is the generic name for the drug Narcan.

The policy comes as opioid overdoses and addiction have surged nationally.

In 2022, 219 people died from drug overdoses in Wake County, The News & Observer previously reported. Opioids — medicines prescribed for pain like codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone and morphine — were responsible in three-quarters of the deaths.

“Fentanyl is everywhere,” said school board member Wing Ng. “Fentanyl is a crisis. We all have to be aware of the signs and symptoms.”


The policy directs Superintendent Robert Taylor to develop a program to place Naloxone at schools, early learning centers and district administrative offices. There’s currently no money in the budget to purchase Naloxone. The district estimates that it could cost $6,500 to $30,000 to place two Naloxone doses at each school. The board accelerated adoption of the policy to get it in place before a June 5 deadline to apply for funding from the county.

Read the full article on the Raleigh News & Observer website.

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