Fountain Valley Officials Applaud Naloxone Program at Area Schools
At the first Fountain Valley mayor’s breakfast of the year, held on March 30 at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County, California, several local issues were discussed, including a recently established drug program in schools. The program, which was initiated last November, aims to prevent overdoses in youth by placing drug stations with naloxone, a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of opioids, in schools. The program comes in response to the growing number of children overdosing on fentanyl across the state and country.
Why is this program important?
The opioid crisis has become a major concern in many communities, and youth are particularly vulnerable to its effects. Illicit drugs laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, are increasingly being sold to unsuspecting youth, often through social media platforms. This has led to a rise in overdoses among young people, including in schools. The drug program in Fountain Valley schools aims to address this issue and provide a timely response to overdoses, potentially saving lives.
What does the program involve?
The program involves placing naloxone stations in each elementary school, middle school, and high school in the Fountain Valley area. These stations are equipped with naloxone, a medication that can quickly reverse the effects of opioids and prevent overdose deaths. The naloxone is administered through a nasal spray, making it easy to use by school staff or other trained personnel in case of an emergency. The program was initiated by the Fountain Valley Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services teams, in collaboration with city officials.
Success of the program
Since its implementation, the program has already proven successful in saving a student’s life. In January, a student at Ocean High School who had taken an unknown substance bought off the street that was laced with fentanyl was administered naloxone by a teacher, according to Fountain Valley Fire Department Chief Bill McQuaid. The timely treatment with naloxone, also known as Narcan, saved her life, highlighting the importance of having naloxone stations in schools.
Why is this program necessary?
Lauren Lee, a former emergency room nurse who developed the plan for the school stations and currently serves as the Emergency Medical Services manager for the city fire department, emphasizes the importance of the program for student safety. She notes that a growing number of kids, including those in elementary school and older, are buying illicit drugs from dealers on social media sites, often through platforms like Snapchat. These drugs are sometimes misrepresented as harmless, such as marijuana gummies, when in fact they are laced with dangerous opioids like fentanyl. The presence of naloxone stations in schools can provide a crucial intervention in case of an overdose, potentially saving lives.
In conclusion, the drug program implemented in Fountain Valley schools to prevent overdoses in youth is a timely and important initiative. With the opioid crisis affecting communities across the country, it’s crucial to have measures in place to address the growing number of overdoses, including among young people. The presence of naloxone stations in schools can provide a lifeline in case of an overdose, potentially saving lives and protecting the well-being of students. As the program continues to be implemented and expanded, it is hoped that the need for naloxone stations in schools will decrease in the future, reflecting a reduction in overdoses and improved awareness about the dangers of opioids among youth. In the meantime, the program serves as a valuable resource to protect the health and safety of students in Fountain Valley schools. So far, the program has already demonstrated success in saving lives, and its continued implementation and expansion are critical in addressing the ongoing opioid crisis and protecting our youth.