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LAUSD Will Distribute Narcan To Schools To Combat 'Epidemic' Of Opioid Overdoses

A vending machine is filled with pink and white boxes of a medication that reads "Narcan." Just above a number pad on the machine, a digital readout says "Free."
Narcan nasal spray for the treatment of opioid overdoses is made available for free in a vending machine by the DuPage County Health Department at the Kurzawa Community Center on Sept. 1, 2022 in Wheaton, Illinois. LAUSD is rolling out 600 units of the drugs to its junior and senior high schools in response to an "epidemic" of fentanyl overdoses.
(Scott Olson
Getty Images)
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In response to a “devastating epidemic” of student overdoses, the Los Angeles Unified School District will begin rolling out life-saving opioid overdose treatments to junior and senior high schools.

A growing problem: Calling it an urgent crisis, L.A. Unified Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told reporters on Thursday that there have been at least nine overdose incidents involving youths in the last month. Last week, fentanyl-laced pills killed a student at Helen Bernstein High School in Hollywood and sickened three other teens.

We are experiencing a devastating epidemic. Whether we talk about fentanyl or the many variations of fentanyl, there is an abundance of drugs that students are having ready access to.
— LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho
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What the district is doing about it: The district is rolling out 600 units of Narcan — the easier-to-use intra-nasal version of the drug — starting next month. If applied early, it can reverse the effects of an overdose. Administrators and school police will be trained on how to use the doses in the coming months. The district is also launching a "peer-to-peer health initiative" and planning an outreach campaign to reach parents.

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