Narcan could be coming to more OC school districts thanks to newly-approved grants

School districts in Orange County will soon have more access Narcan, the life-saving drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, after the county Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion that would send the drug to six area districts. 

The proposal was introduced earlier this week by the Third District's Supervisor Donald Wagner, and would allocate $120,000 from the district's discretionary funds to go towards $20,000 in Naloxone purchases for high schools in six area districts.

"We must continue to be proactive and now is the time to get Narcan into as many hands as possible in our schools because it will save lives," Wagner said. "I hope to see this effort go beyond the Third District."

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Fentanyl-related overdoses have been the leading cause of death for people ages 18 to 45 in 2019 and 2020, according to the organization Families Against Fentanyl. 

The Capistrano, Irvine, Orange, Placentia-Yorba Linda, Saddleback Valley and Tustin school districts will be eligible for the grants. If accepted the money will be split equally between all high schools in those districts. According to the Orange County Fire Authority, Narcan is approximately $42 per spray, meaning the funding will allow approximately 476 Narcan nasal sprays per school district. 

Orange County estimated that it lost more than 1,300 residents due to substance use-related deaths between February 2021 and February 2022. Officials said this funding could help curb that number.