LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal Tuesday, Oct. 18, to place the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, or Narcan, at county libraries and train librarians on how to administer it.
“Narcan is easy to use, anyone can carry it and it saves lives,” Supervisor Janice Hahn, who introduced the motion, said in a statement. “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. 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.”
The motion comes on the heels of a series of overdoses involving Los Angeles Unified School District students, prompting the district to provide Narcan doses to all of its campuses. On Sept. 13, a 15-year-old girl was found dead of a fentanyl overdose in a bathroom on the campus of Bernstein High School in Hollywood.
Shortly after that death, LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said more than a half-dozen similar overdoses had occurred in the area involving students, prompting the distribution of Narcan to campuses.
Last week, another student at Bernstein High was hospitalized due to a possible drug overdose. Earlier this month, a 17-year-old student at El Camino Real High School died from a fentanyl overdose.
Hahn’s motion also asked the county to explore making libraries distribution sites where residents can pick up doses of the medication.
The board also approved a motion by Supervisor Hilda Solis calling on various county health and education agencies to develop an educational toolkit for students, parents and others about the dangers of overdoses, and to reach out to school districts to make them aware of available resources for obtaining Narcan.
The motion instructs the agencies to conduct general community outreach and education efforts using “traditional and social media, as well as engaging with ethnic and local media for culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach.”