Arkansas steps up the fight against opioid crisis with school-based overdose kits


Share post:

Fort Smith, Arkansas – In a proactive response to the opioid crisis, a new legislation, known as Act 811, is slated to take effect in Arkansas. This law mandates the distribution of opioid drug overdose kits in every high school throughout the state.

The requirements laid out by Act 811 apply to both public high schools and state-supported universities. School officials have stated that the placement of these kits will directly address the opioid crisis and significantly bolster the safety measures for young individuals across the state.

Dr. Hugh Jackson, an emergency medical physician at Mercy Hospital, shared, “Unfortunately, we’re seeing quite a few overdoses that we didn’t necessarily see as frequently in the past with the influx of fentanyl.” He emphasized that the alarming rise in fentanyl overdoses is affecting a broad demographic.

Jackson elaborated, “Typically somewhere between early teenage years into adulthood, but it can affect the entire spectrum because sometimes you have to remember that sometimes it’s an accidental ingestion.” This unfortunate escalation has necessitated the enactment of Act 811.

The law insists on the availability of rescue kits containing crucial life-saving products such as Narcan on the grounds of public high schools and state-supported universities.

Chief Bill Hollenbeck of Fort Smith Public Schools stated that while the school officers have already been equipped with these resources, the implementation of the Act will enhance their accessibility for all. “It was important to stay ahead of the curve. We want to make sure our students and staff and the public are safe when they come into our schools,” Hollenbeck stated.

The law mandates that all kits must be visibly marked as “opioid overdose rescue kit.”

Hollenbeck further detailed, “What we’ll be doing differently is adding Narcan kits to the location where automated defibrillators are. They’ll be in public locations, and they are in hallways throughout the schools, our arenas and so forth.” This move is part of a broader initiative to ensure public safety within educational institutions in the state of Arkansas.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Arkansas outperforms national unemployment rate in February

Arkansas - Arkansas workers have reasons to celebrate as recent statistics reveal a promising outlook in the state's job...

Search underway for missing teen in Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas - The Little Rock Police Department is currently seeking assistance from the public to locate 15-year-old...

Gas prices in the Natural State increased by over 7 cents in a week

This past week, Arkansas witnessed an increase in gas prices, with the average price of gasoline in the...

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs executive order to address maternal health crisis

In a significant move aimed at tackling the state's alarming maternal mortality rates, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders...