Wave of Opioid Overdoses Strikes Park View High School: Authorities Investigate

Local authorities are probing a string of recent opioid overdoses affecting students from Park View High School in Loudoun County, VA.

As of October 31, 2023, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) is investigating a minimum of eight incidents of opioid overdoses among students from the high school. Shockingly, seven of these overdoses have been reported in just the last three weeks. Out of the total cases, four overdoses took place within the school premises. In three instances, the emergency opioid reversal drug Narcan was administered, and in two cases, school staff performed CPR on the affected students.

All cases seem to be linked to fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid. It is believed to have been ingested through counterfeit 30 mg oxycodone pills, which are blue, circular, and sometimes marked with “M30”.

In response, the LCSO is ramping up its efforts at Park View High School to trace the origins and pathways of these opioids. The Sheriff’s Office is collaborating with Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) administrators and security staff in this effort.

Sheriff Mike Chapman emphasized the commitment to finding the culprits, stating, “We know the overwhelming number of Park View students are responsible and care about the safety of their school, and we are putting all available resources into identifying who is responsible for distributing these lethal drugs.”

LCPS Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence expressed his concern, noting that LCPS is actively supporting students, families, and staff through fentanyl awareness and education. This includes equipping staff with Naloxone, conducting grade-level assemblies, parent meetings, and deploying additional administrative and counseling support at Park View. Spence underscored the urgency of addressing addiction issues and ensuring the safety and well-being of the students.

While the LCSO has chosen not to disclose any names or details about the ongoing investigation, it’s known that this year alone, they have investigated 18 reports of opioid overdoses among Loudoun County juveniles. This is almost equal to the 19 reports investigated in 2022. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warns that fentanyl is easy to conceal and inexpensive to produce, with 7 in 10 pills seized containing a lethal dose.

The LCSO, along with LCPS and the Loudoun County Mental Health, Substance Abuse, & Developmental Services, continues to focus on drug education and prevention programs. They urge parents and guardians to communicate with their children about the risks of drug use and to remain alert to any suspicious activities.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents at Park View High School or any other school in Loudoun County is encouraged to contact the LCSO promptly.

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