LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Narcan in high schools is a sad reality.

As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, high schools in Ocean County, New Jersey will be among the first to get them.

On Thursday, nurses at Ocean County schools were being taught to use Narcan spray — the antidote to combat a heroin overdose even if a victim isn’t breathing.

“It’s sad, but it’s part of our culture right now,” Toms River High School Nurse, Samantha Hvidding said.

The Narcan sprays are going to 23 schools including parochials, as heroin overdose deaths in Ocean County reach epidemic proportions.

Last year there were 118, this year it’s already up to 180.

“Now, we’re finding heroin is starting to make its way into unfortunately the school system,” Ocean County Prosecutor, Joseph Coronato said.

Law enforcement has been driving home the message — that pain killers can lead to heroin addiction — to parents and students in a movie introduced by rock star Richie Sambora.

Users turn to heroin — which costs about $3 on the street — when they can’t afford a $30 pill.

As for the Narcan sprays, they’re twice as powerful as the ones police got two years ago.

“This new unit is just one spray, it’s simple you take it in between your two hands and spray,” Coronato said.

Some argue Narcan may enable addicts and provide a safety net.

“Actually it’s with the times. We really do know it’s out there and we want to protect our students, staff, and anyone else in our community,” New Egypt High School, Nurse, Jackie Thiele said.

Narcan will be at schools in Ocean County starting on Friday, but that doesn’t mean that nurses will be able to immediately administer them.

“We have yearly orders from our school physicians. We’ll have to contact him, get the order written, and then we’ll be able to use them,” Jeryl DelVecchio said.

In the end, nurses said it’s all about saving lives.

The Narcan sprays have about 8-milligrams of Naloxone the antidote for all opiate overdoses.

 

 

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