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Santa Barbara Unified School District works to install Narcan stations

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) is taking an aggressive stance in the opioid crisis by doing the legal legwork to install Narcan stations on all of its public school campuses.

SBUSD Superintendent Hilda Maldonado (Alex Zauner/KEYT)

"I think that it's really important for us, especially from the superintendent, that our parents become informed about this," said SBUSD Superintendent Hilda Maldonado. "Know what signs to look for in their children, to really understand the severity and seriousness of taking fentanyl, that it can lead to death."

Maldonado said the application process must go through Santa Barbara County first, then the school board for approval.

The goal is to install the anti-overdose medication stations at the district's nine elementary schools, four junior high campuses and, four high schools. Charter schools are not included in the plan.

"Because we do have children, not just between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, we have students who stay beyond the school day and activities going on all the time, particularly in our high schools," said Maldonado. "We want to be prepared and we want to provide that service if it becomes a need."

The decision was made last year when district officials saw a pandemic-related spike in incidences of students either under the influence or in possession of counterfeit drugs containing fentanyl.

SBUSD launched an outreach campaign last Fall around the dangers of the potentially deadly drug.

"We know there's a lot of dangers in having young people - sometimes a little bit older - who will take something, not knowing that it's laced with fentanyl, whether it's smoking marijuana, innocently taking an Advil that may be laced with fentanyl, not knowing or, just using it," said Maldonado.

If both Santa Barbara County and the school board approve the district's application, Maldonado said the Narcan stations will be installed mid-October.

Staff will undergo extensive training first.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here

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