Amid growing student overdoses in Los Angeles County and across the country, officials are considering a plan to equip county libraries with the overdose-reversal drug naloxone or Narcan.
The Board of Supervisors will vote on a motion that would provide the anti-overdose medication to county libraries. The proposal also calls for librarians to be trained on how to administer the drug.
“Opioid deaths and fentanyl poisonings are on the rise, and we should make sure Narcan is at our county libraries where so many young people spend time after school,” Supervisor Janice Hahn who introduced the motion said in the statement. “Parents are scared and want to know where they can get Narcan to keep in case of an emergency, so I want to explore making our libraries Narcan kit distribution sites.''
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Hahn’s motion also calls for the county to potentially designate libraries as distribution sites for the anti-overdose medication.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has been plagued with opioid-related incidents in recent months. Since a 15-year-old girl was found dead of a fentanyl overdose in a bathroom on the campus of Bernstein High School in Hollywood in September, more than a half-dozen additional teens from the same school overdosed from possible fentanyl-laced pills.
The districts since announced that Narcan will be made available at all K-12 schools. But despite the effort, including the implementation of a safety task force, another LAUSD high school died of a suspected fentanyl overdose earlier this month. El Camino Real Charter High School announced the death of Cade Kitchen, a high school baseball player, in a letter to the community on Oct. 6.
The board will also consider a motion by Supervisor Hilda Solis that would trigger the development of an educational toolkit for students and parents about the dangers of overdoses. Under the proposal, county health and education agencies would reach out to school districts about available resources for obtaining Narcan.