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Despite press conference announcing Narcan on EBR campuses, school officials say it's not happening

1 year 7 months 1 week ago Wednesday, July 20 2022 Jul 20, 2022 July 20, 2022 7:47 PM July 20, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - School representatives were blindsided by a news conference, promoted by local elected officials, where a supposed plan to put Narcan on school campuses parish-wide was unveiled.

Hours after community activist Tonja Myles—accompanied by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and other parish leaders—announced a plan to put the overdose-reversing drug in every public school by Aug. 1, an EBR school spokesperson refuted the claims.

"We understand the necessity for substance abuse therapy, but we do not have current plans for implementation," East Baton Rouge Schools spokesperson Ben Lemoine told WBRZ.

During the press conference, where city leaders launched a new parish-wide opioid awareness initiative, Myles said the plan was not only happening but that it would go into effect imminently.

"Starting the first of the school year, there will be Narcan in every school in East Baton Rouge Parish. That is the first time this has been done in the state," Myles told reporters earlier in the day.

Despite the announcement made at the news conference, school officials maintained that there would be no such action taken at any parish school. 

A spokesperson with the mayor-president's office said the campaign, designed to provide resources to areas most impacted by substance abuse, was propelled in part by a sharp spike in overdose deaths throughout the area.

"Since 2018, East Baton Rouge Parish has seen a significant increase of drug overdose deaths, 88% of which are related to fentanyl, which is being laced into common street drugs and often proves fatal in trace amounts," the statement read. "This year, EBR is on track for the highest number of overdose deaths on record."

This year, paramedics have been called to multiple EBR schools in response to reported overdoses involving students who ingested drug-infused foods. No one was seriously harmed in those incidents. 

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