WASHINGTON — On Monday, Sept. 26, Congressman Doug Lamborn and Congressman Joe Neguse introduced legislation that would allow schools to use COVID relief funds to purchase life-saving opioid antagonists, and provide training and education to students and teachers.
H.R. 8968, the Protecting Kids from Fentanyl Act, according to Congressmen Neguse and Lamborn, allows unspent COVID-19 funding to go toward fentanyl education and prevention efforts in K-12 schools. The funding comes from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. The bill, if signed into law will allow schools to:
- Purchase naloxone or other opioid antagonists.
- Provide training to school nurses, teachers, school administrators, and school resource officers on how to administer naloxone or other opioid antagonists.
- Provide fentanyl awareness classes or materials to students.
“Throughout Colorado, fentanyl-related overdoses have increased exponentially, and the impact this crisis has had on families across our state is truly devastating. The Protecting Kids from Fentanyl Act is a bipartisan solution that will empower our K-12 schools to tackle this emergency. Everyone – especially our children – deserve to live in a safe community, and this bill helps achieve that goal,” said Neguse.
“The fact that children are dying from fentanyl overdoses in schools around the country is absolutely unacceptable,” said Lamborn. “While overdoses due to fentanyl are becoming more common among our youth, research shows that the availability of naloxone, along with overdose education, is effective at saving lives. This legislation will ensure that schools have the prevention tools and education necessary to protect our most vulnerable population from the growing fentanyl epidemic.”