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Los Angeles Unified Announces Naloxone (Narcan) Will be Available at Every K-12 School (09-22-22)

CONTACT: Shannon Haber

September 22, 2022

Los Angeles Unified Announces Naloxone (Narcan) Will be Available at Every K-12 School

The District Also Outlines Additional Safety Measures and Support for Students

Los Angeles, CA (September 22, 2022) – In response to the devastating epidemic of overdoses that are all too common in Los Angeles, Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho announced today that naloxone (Narcan) will be made available at all K-12 schools in the coming weeks. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) is providing the doses of naloxone at no cost to the District. The District has also received support from The Los Angeles Trust for Children's Health and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. 

Naloxone is a crucial response for individuals experiencing overdose from substances like fentanyl, and temporarily reverses the effects of an overdose in emergency scenarios. As stated by the National Institutes of Health, naloxone is a safe, highly effective medicine used to reverse overdoses and save lives. Administered as a nasal spray, naloxone is an antidote to medications known as ‘opioids.’

“We have an urgent crisis on our hands,” Superintendent Carvalho said. “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.”

“The opioid epidemic is a community crisis, and today Los Angeles Unified is taking concrete action to protect our students - both by making naloxone readily available and through proactive education and support,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “Our Board and Superintendent are committed to doing everything we can to ensure student safety on our campuses and in our communities.”

“The District has no higher calling than the safety of its students,” Student Board Member Nathaniel Shin said. “I am grateful for the support of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified team for providing this tool to protect student health. I am also thankful for the staff who will train in its use. Narcan saves lives. I look forward to continued collaboration with the community to help students make healthy choices and get the support they need.”

Los Angeles Unified is also implementing a safety task force, peer-to-peer counseling and extensive Family Academy programming to reach District communities. This will be done in partnership with experts and in coordination with Parent and Community Services in the coming months. This includes the Health Information Project (HIP), an organization training high school juniors and seniors to teach health education to their freshmen peers using a peer-to-peer model.

According to LACDPH, fentanyl and methamphetamine related overdose deaths have increased in Los Angeles County, even prior to the pandemic, and continue to rise at an alarming rate. There has been a growing trend of illicit drugs and contaminated pills containing fentanyl and other life threatening substances that have entered Los Angeles. 

Los Angeles Unified is working closely with LACDPH to provide naloxone and develop training and education materials for our communities. The District has enough doses for high schools, which will be distributed in the next two weeks, and will then expand the number of campuses with doses as they are received. Appropriate staff, such as nurses, wellness center providers and trained volunteers, will be or are already trained to administer naloxone. Training for District staff will begin in early October. 

For the most up-to-date information, please follow Los Angeles Unified on Twitter @laschools and @lausdsup, Instagram at @laschools and @lausdsup and Facebook at @laschools and @AlbertoMCarvalho1.