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LA district schools to get naloxone following group of overdoses

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho (C) announced Thursday that all K-12 schools will receive naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho/<a href=Twitter” height=”675″ src=”https://cdnph.upi.com/svc/sv/i/5141663912063/2022/1/16639140769946/Los-Angeles-district-schools-to-receive-naloxone-following-series-of-overdoses.jpg” title=”LA Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho (C) announced Thursday that K-12 schools will receive naloxone, that may reverse the consequences of an opioid overdose. Photo thanks to LA Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho/Twitter” width=”900″>

LA Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho (C) announced Thursday that K-12 schools will receive naloxone, that may reverse the consequences of an opioid overdose. Photo thanks to LA Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho/Twitter

Sept. 23 (UPI) — All K-12 schools in the LA School District will receive life-saving medicine that may reverse an opioid overdose, officials said carrying out a group of overdoses in the district.

Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent for the country’s second largest school district, announced the deployment of naloxone Thursday, stating all schools will have the medicine in the coming weeks free in their mind or the district.

“We’ve an urgent crisis on our hands,” he said in a statement. “Research implies that the option of naloxone alongside overdose education works well at decreasing overdoses and death — and can save lives.

“We shall do everything inside our power to make sure that not another student inside our community is really a victim to the growing opioid epidemic. Keeping students safe and healthy remains our highest priority.”

The announcement came after one student died and another was hospitalized on Sept. 13 after experiencing overdoses at Bernstein SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, situated in Hollywood.

Police said the students had purchased what they believed were Percocet pills from Lexington Park. Federal authorities have repeatedly warned the general public about the upsurge in counterfeit pills on U.S. streets.

Police have said that it’s common for drug dealers to lace these pills with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s around 100 times more powerful than morphine and which includes been fueling the ongoing overdose epidemic.

In July, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said federal agents in California had seized some 1 million counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. With a street value of between $15-20 million, it had been the largest-ever fentanyl bust in the Golden State.

Based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and its own analogs, increased 56% from 2019 to 2020.

The LA Unified District, which serves a lot more than 600,000 students at some 1,000 schools, said that additionally it is implementing a safety task force, peer-to-peer counseling and extensive Family Academy programming in the coming months to avoid overdoses before they occur.

“The opioid epidemic is really a community crisis, now LA Unified is taking concrete action to safeguard our students — both by making naloxone easily available and through proactive education and support,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “Our board and superintendent are focused on doing everything we are able to to make sure student safety on our campuses and inside our communities.”

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