Santa Clara High Schools to Get Opioid Reversal Drugs

Santa Clara County will allocate $135,000 in state funds to supply local high schools with the opioid reversal drug Naloxone (brand name: Narcan). The drugs will be distributed to local high schools by the county Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD). The agency will also work with college groups to make Narcan and fentanyl testing strips available in social settings.

BHSD is ready to supply all 28 high schools in the county with Narcan. However, some “have been slow to accept the need to have naloxone kits available for youth of all ages."

“When you say, 'wouldn't you like to have this resource available?' The reaction is, 'well we don't have a problem'," Supervisor Joe Simitian explained in a statement. "And maybe some places don't, but frankly I'm inclined to think that the problem is pretty pervasive.”  

The harm reduction plan was championed by supervisors Cindy Chavez and Otto Lee, who asked BHSD to analyze Narcan distribution in high-risk settings. The county has also launched a new opioid abuse public awareness campaign. It will target young people ages 21 to 39. 

Santa Clara has seen the proliferation of the deadly drug fentanyl in recent years. Last year, a 12-year-old girl in San Jose died after overdosing on fentanyl. The 16-year-old who sold her the drugs was arrested on murder charges.

Last week in Los Angeles, a 15-year-old girl suffered a fatal overdose in the bathroom of a public high school.