(AP/WTOL) - In recent weeks, Toledo Public Schools has been taking steps to address the heroin epidemic. Now Governor John Kasich is stepping up efforts to support them in this fight.
Governor Kasich signed a bill Wednesday making the antidote drug, Narcan, available to homeless shelters and schools. It's already being used at school events and on school grounds.
Ann Cipriani, Health Services Coordinator for Toledo Public Schools, says training will start this month for school nurses and staff to help prevent the tragedy of an opioid overdose death from happening at our schools.
"It could be anybody," said Cipriani. "It could be our staff, it could be visitors that have an impact on our schools."
In just the past few weeks, Toledo Public Schools have been stepping up their efforts to address the opioid epidemic in northwest Ohio.
" Our nurses will be trained on administering Narcan next week, and it will be in our high schools and in the cars of our resource officers," said Cipriani.
Cipriani says Narcan already had to be used at Toledo schools.
She says the governor's support for getting the antidote in schools, along with prevention education, is giving schools a boost in the right direction.
"The more we talk about it, the more we get the information out there. Knowledge is power," Cipriani said.
Plans are in the works for an addiction education program going into schools in all area districts.
In partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, TPS will also be getting information on drug addiction and prevention into the hands of parents.
The bill also requires thousands of pharmacy technicians to be registered by the state for the first time.
The state pharmacy board says pharmacy technicians were responsible for a third of about 140 pharmacy drug thefts over the past three years.
Ohio saw a record 3,050 overdose deaths last year. Many of those deaths were attributed to painkillers and heroin abuse.