It's no secret that the drug crisis in Arizona has only gotten worse. Opioid and fentanyl overdoses are all over the news, and now younger children have begun to be affected.

man holds up his hand, shooing away a man holding a baggie of drugs
Credit: Canva

Parents are obviously scared for their kids safety, and Arizona knows this. A new initiative will begin to take place in schools across the Grand Canyon State to mitigate the spread of drugs among students.

It's controversial to say the least.


Meet the School Training Overdose Preparedness and Intelligence Taskforce, otherwise known as STOP-IT. The task force was appointed to prevent overdoses among younger students.

A Narcan dispensary
Credit: Canva

The force began meeting recently, and have devised their plan: a "toolkit" full of preparation and educational material that will be placed in classrooms across the state. The biggest controversy comes with the inclusion of Naloxone in the kit. Otherwise known as Narcan, this drug is an opioid overdose reversal agent, that can instantly save someone's life.

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The Narcan Controversy

While most people have no issue with putting educational materials in classrooms, problems start to arrive when the conversation begins to include Narcan.

Vials of Narcan
Credit: Canva

Obviously, no one has an issue with reversing an overdose, especially in a young child. The question becomes whether or not this will have the opposite effect than intended.  Think of it this way, a DARE officer comes into your class and tells you that there's this thing that's going to make you feel REALLY good, but don't try it. You immediately want to try it, right?

That's the fear many have with Narcan in classrooms, it's going to introduce more kids to drugs than it is saving them from them, and may lead them to believe that since there's a "get-out-of-jail-free card", they won't have to be as careful around drugs.

An overdose prep kit
Credit: Canva

We won't know the effects until the program rolls out in 2025, but whatever we can do to keep our kids safe is worth it.


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