Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Prestin: Plan to put Narcan in schools a top priority in new year
RELEASE|December 26, 2023
Contact: David Prestin

Earlier this year, Rep. Prestin introduced HB 4734, which is part of a bipartisan package that would require school districts to obtain and distribute opioid antagonists like Narcan. Prestin said the legislation is necessary to ensure the safety of students, families, and staff in schools given the concerning rise of fentanyl trafficking in the United States. This legislation will be his top priority in the new year.

“God forbid any child, parent, or teacher should come to school and need Narcan. In the event these horrifying circumstances come to our communities, we want our schools to be ready,” said Prestin, R-Cedar River. “In a perfect world, there would be no need for Narcan in schools. But this world is not perfect. Drug traffickers are bringing fentanyl into Michigan, and we as elected officials must do everything in our power to end this illegal trade and defend our state.”

Earlier this month, five kids in Virginia were hospitalized after eating gummy bears laced with fentanyl in school. While Narcan was fortunately not needed, Prestin emphasized how even a small amount of fentanyl exposure can result in an overdose.

“Even doses as small as two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal, especially for kids. Kids have overdosed after accidentally inhaling it,” Prestin said. “We’ve made Narcan accessible in several other public locations. Putting these life-saving materials in our schools is the next step in equipping our communities to defend themselves against these dangerous drugs. As a paramedic, I know the importance of having naloxone ready and available immediately. When people, especially children, who haven’t been previously exposed to opioids come into contact with fentanyl, their bodies can’t handle it. They stop breathing almost immediately. Naloxone will stop the overdose and save lives.”

HB 4734 is currently under consideration by the House Education Committee. Rep. Prestin is confident that legislators will work together to put these bills on the governor’s desk.

“This legislation is one of the most bipartisan packages in the legislature. I’m proud to have the support of many of my Democratic colleagues on this because the opioid crisis affects Wayne and Kent counties the same way it affects our U.P. communities,” said Prestin. “No community is immune to the problem. When my colleagues are looking for what they want to accomplish in 2024, my hope is they see how important this issue is. I’m thinking they will.”

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