Despite press conference announcing Narcan at EBR campuses, school officials say it’s not happening
BATON ROUGE — School officials were caught off guard by a press conference, promoted by local elected officials, where a supposed plan to install Narcan on school campuses across the parish was unveiled.
Hours after community activist Tonja Myles, along with Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and other parish leaders, announced a plan to have the overdose drug in all public schools by August 1, a EBR school spokesman refuted the allegations.
“We understand the need for addiction therapy, but we don’t currently have any plans to implement it,” East Baton Rouge Schools spokesperson Ben Lemoine told WBRZ.
During the press conference, where city leaders kicked off a new parish-wide opioid awareness initiative, Myles said the plan is not only underway, but will go into effect. imminently.
“Starting the first day of the school year, there will be Narcan in every school in East Baton Rouge Parish. This is the first time it’s been done in the state,” Myles told reporters. reporters earlier in the day.
Despite the announcement at the press conference, school officials maintained that no such action would be taken at any parochial school.
A spokesperson for the mayor-president’s office said the campaign, designed to provide resources to areas hardest hit by drug addiction, was propelled in part by a sharp rise in overdose deaths across the region.
“Since 2018, East Baton Rouge Parish has seen a significant increase in drug overdose deaths, 88% of which are linked to fentanyl, which is mixed with common street drugs and often proves fatal in trace amounts” , the statement said. “This year, EBR is on track for the highest number of overdose deaths ever.”
This year, paramedics were called to several EBR schools in response to reported overdoses involving students who ingested drug-infused food. No one was seriously injured in these incidents.