LA to make overdose reversal drug available to K-12 schools after teen death
Seven teens overdosed over the past month in the school district
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The Los Angeles Unified School District is now providing its campuses with an overdose-reversal drug, following several, recent fentanyl-related overdoses, including one in which a 15-year-old girl died.
The was decision was announced Thursday by schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who said the drug naloxone, also known as Narcan, will be provided for free by the county public health department to all schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade, in the coming weeks.
"We have an urgent crisis on our hands," Carvalho said in a statement. "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."
In the past month, at least seven teens – including 15-year-old Melanie Ramos, who died at Bernstein High in Hollywood – have overdosed after taking pills containing fentanyl, The Hill reported. The most recent overdoses of high school students from the school district occurred Saturday when three teens overdosed.
The school district will also start an educational campaign to warn students about the dangers of fentanyl.
Other states – such as Michigan, Rhode Island, and New York – have also made naloxone available to schools.