Santa Clara County May Provide Schools With Narcan
Santa Clara County schools may soon have the overdose reversal drug Narcan widely available at their disposal. It’s part of an effort to reduce opioid deaths across the county.
Over the coming months, county staff will study the possibility of providing Narcan, as well as fentanyl testing strips, to schools across Santa Clara. County supervisors should have enough information about feasibility and cost by the end of summer, said Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
“What would be best is if people didn’t take illegal drugs but since people are, we want to make sure we are saving as many lives as possible. Especially for young people who really don’t know what they are ingesting,” Chavez said.
“The more we can do preventative work, educate and provide the tools to families, schools and youth, I think the better off we are in terms of bending this curve and reducing the number of young people that are dying or overdosing," stated Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services administrator Bruce Copley.
There have been 41 fentanyl-related fatalities so far this year in Santa Clara County. None of those have occurred in schools. But teenagers have been hardest hit by the rise in opioid deaths nationwide. According to the CDC, deaths from opioid overdoses among teens increased by 94% between 2019 and 2020 and by another 20% between 2020 and 2021 — much higher than the general population.