Rotarian Matt Meyers was on a quest to protect St. Tammany children at school from drug overdoses when he applied for a grant with the maker of Narcan, Adapt Pharma.
Narcan is a nasal spray used for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose. While there have been no opioid overdoses in parish schools, Meyers wants them to be prepared before it can happen.
“We no longer live in a world where experimentation under the bleachers might result in being grounded and would get you in a bit of trouble,” said Meyers. “The drugs our children have the potential for contact with are so potent that a dose the size of a sesame seed is enough to kill one child if not more.”
Experimental drug use is not the only concern for youth. Accidental exposure to prescription medications such as pill or pain patches can cause an overdose, as well.
Thirteen schools will have Narcan available, and it will be administered by school resource officers. The project was coordinated with a variety of first-responder agencies, including the police department, the fire department, the sheriff’s and coroner’s office.  The coroner’s office will provide training for law enforcement officers, and first responders will administer the Narcan.
“I’ve received support from Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville and Slidell police chiefs,” said Meyers. “Covington Mayor Cooper and Police Chief Lentz gave me tremendous support and have been truly proactive in terms of opiate overdose death prevention.”
Meyers intends to take the project national through other Rotary organizations. He’s already worked with a Rotarian in Maine who is implementing the program throughout the state.