LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Unified School District said they would distribute the opioid overdose treatment naloxone to all its schools.
News of the nation's second-largest school district providing the medication comes after 15-year-old Melanie Ramos fatally overdosed in a restroom at Bernstein High School on Sept. 13 after taking a pill that probably contained fentanyl, the Associated Press reported.
“We have an urgent crisis on our hands,” district Superintendent Alberto 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 a press release, Carvalho said that the county public health department would provide the medication for free.
All high schools in the district will get the medication in the next two weeks, and then it'll be distributed to other campuses in the coming weeks, Carvalho said.
Los Angeles Police told the Associated Press that in the last month, at least seven teenagers have overdosed after taking what officials believe were fentanyl-laced pills.
Carvalho added that the district would also implement an educational campaign that includes parent outreach and peer-to-peer counseling.
The district said staffers such as nurses will be or are already trained to administer the medication.
District officials said that training for school staff who aren't trained yet would begin in early October.