Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Needs Better Narcan Accessibility to Prevent Potential Overdoses

Mother+Laura+Collanton+speaks+to+students+at+a+fentanyl+awareness+assembly+in+2022.
Mother Laura Collanton speaks to students at a fentanyl awareness assembly in 2022.

COVID-19 is not the only epidemic that has spread across the U.S. Fentanyl is a dangerous drug that is far more potent than regular opioids, which are used to treat pain. Dealers put it in other drugs, like Xanax and Adderall, to help make them more addictive. But too much fentanyl—even a little bit—can kill. 

Rio hasn’t had much trouble with this drug and has not seen any student fatalities. According to staff like history teacher Richard Yoha, “it seems like the biggest issue RAHS has is vaping during periods.” For this reason, efforts to prevent the harmful effects of all drug use on campus should be addressed.

 But across California, there were over 6,000 deaths related to fentanyl overdoses in 2022. Because of this, I believe that Rio should stock Narcan more comprehensively, because even though a fentanyl overdose or death hasn’t happened, the danger is still present.

After doing research, I realized that the school does stock Narcan, but a majority of people, teachers and students alike, didn’t know. Many staff members had no clue Narcan was available, let alone where it could be found in the case of an emergency.

Last year for the Mirada, I investigated Narcan availability at school and was given mixed answers from various sources, finally shown a small supply of Narcan in the nurse’s office.

Rio stocks Narcan in a drawer in the nurse’s office, and I believe that it should also be kept with the vice principals because they are always walking around the campus. Because of how fast an overdose can occur, classrooms should also have it stocked.

I believe that it is important to stock Narcan in accessible areas because smoking in the bathroom can take a turn for the worse if a drug is laced.

“It’s a good idea to have it in the event that someone makes a bad mistake and it could save a life,” science teacher Alexis Paulus said.

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