Series: Narcan and Durango schools
In 2021, a teen’s fatal overdose sparked a harm reduction movement in Durango schools. Later, some students started calling for changes in district policy letting them act if an overdose happened at school.
At Durango’s 9R School District, administrators have taken a careful and measured approach to whether to allow students to carry Narcan on campus. One charter high school that operates outside the district has given students a bit of leeway on the issue.
Students launched a harm-reduction campaign in Durango to push for permission to carry Narcan on campus and expressed concern about the slow response of administrators. Superintendent Karen Cheser told us that allowing students to carry Narcan is a complex issue, but there has been progress.
After the Durango community lost one teenager to an opioid overdose, many high school students wondered how to prevent another. As a harm-reduction movement emerged, students began pushing for permission to carry Narcan in school. After months of back and forth with school administrators, teens decided to make their fight for drug policy change public.
A single overdose in 2021 led to a teen harm reduction movement. Here is an account of two teens close to the individuals involved.