Information on the Fentanyl Crisis
September 30, 2022
Dear P-BVUSD Families and Staff,
This communication is due to the recent increase and dangers of fentanyl in our community. As a district we are receiving information from the California Department of Public Health, and the Kern County Department of Public Health, about this extremely dangerous drug that is becoming more prevalent in our city, county, state
The misuse and abuse of opioids, or any prescription medication, is already a cause for concern; however, there has been a rise in the prevalence of counterfeit percocet, xanax, and oxycodone/oxycontin in Kern County, as well as new forms of fentanyl.
According to the California Department of Public Health in an Overdose Prevention Initiative:
Brightly-colored fentanyl (referred to as rainbow fentanyl) has been identified as a new trend according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Rainbow fentanyl can be found in many forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that can resemble sidewalk chalk or candy. Any pill (regardless of its color, shape, or size) that does not come from a health care provider or pharmacist can contain fentanyl and can be deadly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and up to 50 times more potent than heroin. As a result, fentanyl is a major cause of overdose for unsuspecting individuals.
Things We Are Doing:
- Naloxone (Narcan), at every school site.
- Provide educational information to staff regarding policies, procedures, safety, and signs of opioid use and overdose.
Things You Can Do:
- If you are concerned someone in your life is at-risk for opioid overdose, carry the overdose reversal medication naloxone (Narcan). Naloxone has no adverse side effects and may be available without a physician prescription at pharmacies, depending on supply.
- If you find any pills do not touch them. Call local law enforcement for removal.
- Have conversations with your child, depending on their age so they do not accept or take anything (even if it looks like candy) from someone other than you or a trusted adult/school employee. In addition:
- Students SHOULD NOT take ANY medications that have not been prescribed to them by a physician or is known to their parent/guardian.
- Students should understand the risks of buying or sharing prescription medication.
- Call local law enforcement if you or your student have seen these pills. Speaking up may save a friend’s life!
- Contact the KernBHRS 24-hour Substance Use Access Line at 1-866-266-4898 to get help for a friend or loved one struggling with substance abuse. All calls are free and completely confidential. Callers can also be linked to appropriate mental health and/or substance use disorder services as well as needed community resources.
Below is a “What is Fentanyl?” pamphlet as a resource. We want to provide informational or educational support along with keeping our students, families and community as safe as possible and free from illegal or unprescribed drugs.
Assistant Superintendent Educational Services