NJSBA has updated policy 5121.21 Administering Medication to include sections titled Emergency Administration of Opioid Antidote; Training; Parent Notification; and Liability.

P.L. 2018. C.106 (A542, S1830) requires each board of education, board of trustees of a charter school and chief school administrator of a nonpublic school to develop a policy for the emergency administration of an opioid antidote to a student staff member or other person experiencing an opioid overdose:

  • A board is required to develop a policy for any school in the district or charter school that has any of the grades nine through 12;
  • The board may develop a policy for any other school in the district that do not have grades nine through 12.

The opioid antidotes shall be accessible in the school during regular school hours and during school-sponsored functions that take place in the school or on school grounds adjacent to the school building. A board of education, board of trustees of a charter school, or chief school administrator of a nonpublic school may, in its discretion, make opioid antidotes accessible during school-sponsored functions that take place off school grounds. The policy shall require that an overdose victim be transported to a hospital emergency room by emergency services personnel after the administration of an opioid antidote, even if the person’s symptoms appear to have been resolved.

The school nurse shall have the primary responsibility for the emergency administration of an opioid antidote. The board shall designate additional employees or volunteers to administer the opioid antidote who shall be authorized to administer the antidote only after receiving training on standardized protocols for the administration of the opioid antidote and information regarding overdose prevention pursuant to the Overdose Prevention Act. (P.L.2013, c. 46). The policy guidelines developed by the New Jersey Department of Education in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Human Services shall specify an appropriate entity or entities to provide the training. The school nurse or a trained employee designated shall administer an opioid antidote to any person whom the nurse or trained employee in good faith believes is experiencing an opioid overdose.

No school employee, including a school nurse, or any other officer or agent of a board of education, charter school, or nonpublic school, or a prescriber of opioid antidotes for a school through a standing order, shall be held liable for any good faith act or omission consistent with the provisions of this act.  Good faith shall not include willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness.

N.J.S.A. 24:6J-1 et seq. Overdose Prevention Act authorizes physicians to prescribe an opioid antidote to anyone in a position to assist others during an overdose (third-party prescribing).  The law provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for a health care professional or pharmacist who, acting in good faith, prescribes or dispenses an opioid antidote; non-health care professionals who have received patient overdose information issued by the Department of Human Services for administering an opioid antidote; and persons seeking medical assistance of someone experiencing a drug overdose.

NJSBA has also included a sample parent/guardian notification letter that districts may use to notify parents/guardians of the district policy and the requirements related to the administration of the opioid antidote.

You may directly download this policy update from the Critical Policy Reference Manual (CPRM) district or charter versions or the Policy Update List on your password protected Policy Resources webpage at www.njsba.org.  You may also contact a policy consultant at (609)278-5268 or email: Jean Harkness at jharkness@njsba.org or Steve McGettigan, policy manager at smcgettigan@njsba.org.

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