Title 16

Chapter 21
Health and Safety of Pupils

R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-21-35

§ 16-21-35. Opioid-related drug overdose — Use of opioid antagonists — Immunity for those administering.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Opioid antagonist” means any drug that binds to opioid receptors and blocks or disinhibits the effects of opioids acting on those receptors, including naloxone hydrochloride, also known as Narcan or naloxone.

(2) “Opioid-related drug overdose” means a condition including, but not limited to, extreme physical illness, decreased level of consciousness, respiratory depression, coma, or death resulting from the consumption or use of an opioid or another substance with which an opioid was combined, or that a layperson would reasonably believe to be an opioid-related drug overdose that requires medical assistance.

(3) “School setting” means circumstances occurring while at school or at school-sponsored events or activities.

(b) All public and private elementary, middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools, shall provide and maintain on-site in each school facility opioid antagonists, as defined herein.

(c) To treat a case of suspected opioid overdose in a school setting, any trained nurse-teacher may administer an opioid antagonist, during an emergency, to any student or staff suspected of having an opioid-related drug overdose whether or not there is a previous history of opioid abuse. School physicians shall prepare standing orders for the procedures to be followed in dealing with a suspected opioid overdose in a school setting. The standing orders shall not require any school nurse-teacher to administer an opioid antagonist.

(d) Opioid antagonists shall be maintained in quantities and types deemed adequate by the department of elementary and secondary education and the department of health, which shall incorporate into their policies, rules, and regulations a procedure for addressing incidents of opioid-related drug overdose in order to provide for the health and safety of children. Any policy, rule, or regulation shall ensure that the opioid antagonist is kept in a conspicuous place, readily available, but with provisions made for the safekeeping and security of the opioid antagonist so that the security of the medication will not be compromised.

(e) Any school nurse-teacher or other school personnel using an opioid antagonist shall be protected from both civil and criminal liability pursuant to the provisions of chapter 28.9 of title 21 (the good samaritan overdose prevention act of 2016).

(f) No school nurse-teacher shall be subject to penalty or disciplinary action for refusing to be trained in the administration of an opioid antagonist.

History of Section.
P.L. 2015, ch. 204, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 224, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 232, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 238, § 1.