Venice High To Administer Narcan Amidst Rise In Overdoses Among LAUSD Students

Zoe Woodrick, Editor-in-Chief

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In the aftermath of recent fentanyl overdoses among LAUSD students, Venice High will be carrying the overdose-reversal drug, naloxone also known as Narcan. 

LAUSD Supt. Alberto Carvalho has recently announced that LAUSD schools will now have the overdose-reversal drug, naloxone available. 

Psychiatric Social Worker Maxine Amondo believes having naloxone available at schools is imperative. 

“Just like how we have EpiPens for allergy reactions, this is a life-saving medicine too,” said Amondo. 

Training for staff such as nurses and wellness center providers that do not already know how to administer naloxone will begin in October.  

A student at Bernstein High School in Hollywood died from an apparent overdose of fentanyl-laced pills.

Fifteen year-old Melanie Ramos, along with others were believed to have bought Percocet pills that were integrated with the highly-addictive drug, fentanyl. 

Psychiatric social worker Rosa Escobar has had members of the community reaching out to her on how they can support discussions on these topics with their children. 

“We need to collaborate together in order to maximize our support,” she said. “I have seen an increase in parents reaching out and trying to find what kind of support there is.”

Three other female students at the LAUSD school were hospitalized. 

Other students have obtained drugs near the school, based in Hollywood, at Lexington Park, where the students bought the laced pills, according to officials

“What happens in parks, in the streets of our community, often has a direct or indirect impact or consequence in our schools. And in the worst of possible ways,” said Carvalho. 

Principal Cynthia Headrick has been working to keep families and students aware of these issues occurring in schools. 

As a principal, the health and safety of students is a top priority. I have been working with staff on the best practices for sharing information,” she said, “In my weekly updates to parents, I have been sharing resources as well as information.” 

Fentanyl overdoses continue to occur. “Rainbow fentanyl,”  a rainbow-colored version of the drug, is targeting young people disguised and marketed as candy. The DEA has already issued several warning statements on this. 

Seven LAUSD students overdosed due to fentanyl-related incidents last month.