Grain Valley High School senior Carter Barnes has been researching opioid reversal agents as a part of his biomedical sciences capstone project. Students in the program are tasked with looking at ways to address health related problems in the community.
After working at a pharmacy, Barnes became aware of the prevalence of opioid overdose and the medications available to help reverse overdoses.
“There are thousands of deaths each year from opioid overdose, and there are drugs available to help reverse opioid overdoses,” Barnes said.
“When I worked at the pharmacy, we would suggest drugs such as naloxone (brand name Narcan) to people who take opioid medication, and many people were not aware of the drug or its purpose.”
“It’s a really good idea for people to know these reversal agents are available to them. Not just for themselves, but for dogs or other people in their homes who may accidentally take a medication.”
Barnes said that physicians often prescribe reversal agents such as naloxone when prescribing an opioid medication, and pharmacists will also consult with patients regarding the medication.
Barnes has planned a marketing campaign to spread awareness of opioid reversal agents, including reaching out to local media and distributing informational flyers to post around the community.
Barnes plans to study biology at UMKC, and is interested in the research side of the profession. Barnes credits the biomedical science program at GVHS as a major influence in his college plans.
“Throughout the classes, you’re able to explore different careers in the biomedical field. It definitely helped increase my interest in studying biology in college.”
Barnes has been active in the GVHS Scholar Bowl and is a member of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America).
Image: GVHS Senior Carter Barnes researched opioid reversal agents as a part of his biomed capstone project, and is distributing