The Los Angeles Unified School District has announced that it will now allow its students to bring Narcan to class. Nasal spray, one of the few mechanisms that can prevent an overdose, is beiing presented as a perfect solution to the fentanyl crisis plaguing the city and mainly affecting young people.
As reported by Daily Wire, it was Superintendent, Alberto M. Carvalho, who announced the news. He did so by sending out a message to school board members on Tuesday, February 1. In the message, he gave assurances that an updated district policy would soon come into effect and means students will now be permitted to carry the medication as a preventative measure against potentially harmful incidences. He added that this measure comes as a result of the increase in fentanyl smuggling by drug cartels on the southern border.
In addition, this upgrade has the approval of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as, according to the message obtained by Los Angeles Times, Narcan "cannot be used to get high, is not addictive and does not have any effect on a person if there are no opioids in their body." Along with this, he said, there are also no "long-term consequences."
The update contradicts the old standard, issued in October. In it, Daily Wire recalls, Narcan was allowed in schools, but the drug was to be "kept in a secure location accessible only to designated school personnel."
School board in favor of Narcan use
It is the fentanyl crisis that has prompted the update to this rule. According to a county report, 92% of teens who died from overdoses in 2021 tested positive for the drug.
The data has Angelenos´ worried. As a result, many school board members welcome allowing students to come to classrooms carrying the nasal spray. One of them is Nick Melvoin, who said that allowing students to bring the drug to class was a good decision:
Narcan has the power to save lives and I’ve been working to expand its access to everyone in our school communities, including students themselves. But we need to do more to address the root causes of this epidemic.https://t.co/vKzQ84Ubo3
— Nick Melvoin (@nickmelvoin) February 1, 2023
The policy update will not be the only measure it will take to alleviate the crisis caused by the increase in drugs. The Los Angeles Times, also reported, that during February and March, the Los Angeles Unified School District will offer both online and in-person workshops to students and families on substance abuse, and how to prevent it, as well as the benefits of nasal spray:
Through our existing initiatives, we will educate students and families about the safety and effectiveness of Narcan including the identification signs of an opioid overdose and the importance of alerting medical professionals when Narcan is used. We remain committed to expanding access, education and training for this life-saving emergency medication.