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Opiate Antagonists: What You Need to Know

Opiate Antagonists: What You Need to Know

What Senate Bill 95 could mean for administering opiate antagonists at schools.

As of this writing, there is an active piece of legislation—Senate Bill 95—that if passed, will give schools the authority to administer opiate antagonists to individuals believed to have overdosed on opiates. The law currently in place—63O.S. 1-2506.1—part of the Oklahoma Emergency Response Systems Development Act, allows first responders, including “medical personnel” at secondary schools and institutions of higher education, to administer the drug without a prescription“ when encountering an individual exhibiting signs of an opiate overdose."

Proposed amendments to the statute include changing the language to “schools including any public or charter schools, technology center schools and institutions of higher education." The bill would also expand the definition of "medical personnel at schools" to mean "a certified school nurse or any other nurse employed by or under contract with a school, any licensed practitioner of the healing arts or any person designated by the school administration to administer an opiate antagonist in the event of a suspected overdose pursuant to Section 2 of this act."

Coupled with the amendatory language in this bill is a new law to be codified at 70 O.S. Section 1210:242. This essentially restates the above provisions, authorizing schools to secure training for the individuals who may administer the opiate antagonists and granting the individuals immunity from civil liability under the Good Samaritan Act if they have acted in a manner consistent with addressing an opiate overdose.

In light of the above provision, it is strongly recommended that districts secure training prior to providing authorization for any of their employees or contractors to administer the opiate antagonists. Documentation of such training should be maintained and made easily accessible in the event it is ever needed.

Terri Thomas

Director, Legal Services

Terri Thomas serves as Director of Legal Services for OPSRC. Ms. Thomas is an attorney practicing exclusively in the area of Oklahoma school law, with a primary focus on rural and smaller school districts. Prior to OPSRC, she served as legal counsel for the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools (OROS).

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