The Toronto District School Board has approved a plan to put naloxone in all of its high schools and alternative schools.
Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the TDSB, told CBC Toronto there hasn’t been a situation where a naloxone kit was needed, but the board is taking the step as a precaution.
“We have EpiPens in our school for severe allergies, and they’re there just in case,” Bird said. “It’s the same with these kits.”
On Wednesday night, school board trustees agreed to receive a report that outlined the TDSB’s plan to combat the growing opioid crisis. The school board will be training about three staff members per school on the use of naloxone and the nasal spray version of the drug, which is supplied in the kit.
Training is expected to begin before March Break, and be complete by the end of April. Naloxone kits will be distributed to the schools once the training is done.
The kits are expected to cost the TDSB between $16,000-$20,000, and the board plans to provide approximately 110 schools with one kit each.
“There is a nominal cost to this, which the TDSB will be paying, but we do think it’s an investment — potentially saving a life down the road,” Bird said.
He adds that the plan is part of a larger conversation the TDSB has had with Toronto Public Health.
“Obviously, we hope to never have to use them,” Bird said. “But it’s there for a precaution should the need ever arise.”
“Should something happen inside of our schools, we need something that can help save a life.”