COPPERAS COVE, Texas (FOX 44) – The opioid epidemic has become so deadly that more and more schools are training staff in use of Narcan– the medication that means the difference between life and death after an overdose.

Copperas Cove ISD is the first school district in our area to be equipped with the personnel and tools necessary to give aid to someone suffering from a suspected overdose.

Marcy Moreno is a CCISD school nurse. She says one big spray up one nostril is all it takes to end an opioid overdose.

“If you don’t see any results in 2 to 3 minutes, go ahead and give the second dose of the other nostril,” she adds.

CCISD has not yet seen an incident, but the staff is staying prepared just in case.

“Each campus is provided with Narcan. The staff has been trained to use it,” says Moreno.

Texas Senate bill 629 would require public schools to keep an opioid antagonist medication– such as Narcan–on campuses. The bill hasn’t been signed into law yet, but CCISD staff voluntarily trained in how to correctly use the reversing nasal spray should the need arise.

“It’s sad that we have to go through these methods, but it’s just all about being proactive,” the school nurse says.

Narcan nasal spray is a user-friendly device and was designed to be used at home without the need for medical training.

“But now, because of the epidemic that we’re seeing, it’s going to be used in the public without a doctor’s orders,” Moreno says.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 107,000 fentanyl-related deaths occurred nationwide in 2021. Just in Texas, we compiled 5,000 deaths in 2022.

“If we have more people trained. Just think how many lines we can save.”

The bill that would require Narcan use in schools received final approval on May 25 and is headed to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. Abbott has until June 18 to sign or veto bills. If signed, SB 629 will become law immediately.