Board of Supervisors unanimously votes to provide Narcan at all county libraries
The Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously voted to place a supply of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, or Narcan, at county libraries and train librarians how to administer it.
"Narcan is easy to use, anyone can carry it, and it saves lives," Supervisor Janice Hahn, who represents District 4 and 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."
Board members on Tuesday called the motion an emergency after the recent string of fentanyl overdose incidents that have occurred to students throughout Los Angeles County.
"In the past 12 months, this county has experienced a series of tragic overdoses with at least 12 reported overdoses of youth who have taken illicit substances that contained fentanyl," said District 1 Supervisor Hilda Solis.
"I tell people this is the one area that really does keep me up at night," said District 5 Supervisor Kathryn Barger. "We are facing a situation where we are gonna lose our youth to something that is so preventable."
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.
In addition to placing naloxone at county libraries and training librarians about how to administer it, Hahn's motion also asks the county to explore making libraries distribution sites where residents can pick up doses of the medication.
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