The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced it is making naloxone, also known as Narcan, available for all its K-12 schools.
The announcement came Thursday afternoon, with the school district calling it a response to continuous overdose cases in the city of Los Angeles.
“We have an urgent crisis on our hands,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “Research shows that the availability of naloxone along with overdose education is effective at decreasing overdoses and death–and will save lives. We will do everything in our power to ensure that not another student in our community is a victim to the growing opioid epidemic. Keeping students safe and healthy remains our highest priority.”
Los Angeles Public Health will be providing the Narcan to schools and will not come out of the district’s budget.
On Wednesday, LAPD said at least seven LAUSD teenage students had died of fentanyl overdoses in the past month alone.
The latest overdose death came on Saturday, September 17, when a 15-year-old male student from the STEM Academy at Bernstein High School was found unconscious in his home.
“The opioid epidemic is a community crisis, and today Los Angeles Unified is taking concrete action to protect our students – both by making naloxone readily available and through proactive education and support,” LAUSD School Board President Kelly Gonez said in a statement Thursday. “Our Board and Superintendent are committed to doing everything we can to ensure student safety on our campuses and in our communities.”
Naloxone is typically used to reverse overdoses, as it blocks the effects of opioids, according to the CDC.
It is believed that the student deaths have come from pills, often sold as oxycodone, laced with lethal doses of fentanyl.
While a specific date for the incorporation of the Narcan was not announced, the district said it would come “in the coming weeks.”
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