Los Angeles School District Announces Plan to Combat Fentanyl-Laced Drug Problem
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will announce this Thursday a strategy to try to combat the problem of drug use after authorities reported that for at least the past month at least seven Los Angeles-area students overdosed on pills allegedly laced with fentanyl.
LAUSD officials, including Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Medical Director Dr. Smita Malhotra, will present the plan during a news conference.
The plan includes details about the resources to be provided to students to help limit overdoses in schools.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is investigating whether the pills in the most recent case, which occurred on Saturday, are related to those that caused the death of 15-year-old Hispanic teenager Melanie Ramos, which occurred on September 13 at Bernstein High School in Hollywood.
In the past week, authorities arrested two teenagers, ages 15 and 16, in connection with Ramos’ death and for selling drugs in the area. Of the two, the younger is in custody on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter, the LAPD said.
According to the police, the two suspects knew each other and both attended Apex Academy, which shares the campus with Bernstein High School.
Los Angeles Police Chief, Michel Moore said the drugs were sold on campus and in a park near the schools.
Moore mentioned Tuesday to the police commission that the two adolescents arrested were “simple pawns” who were being used by adults and drug trafficking organizations, so the authorities were trying to find the supplier.
The Los Angeles police chief said that in addition to Ramos, who died, one of his companions and five other teenagers had been victims of overdoses in the last month, and managed to survive.
For months, officials across the country have warned about the dangers of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid between 80 and 100 times more powerful than morphineand is often mixed with illicit pills that look like prescription pain relievers or other medications.
Moore called fentanyl “the number one threat to the country” and also told the police commission that LAPD and drug task force investigators have seized “tens of thousands of pills and pounds and pounds of fentanyl.”
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