The overdose death of a student at Bernstein High School in Hollywood Tuesday night added to an already troubling trend of increasing youth overdoses linked to Fentanyl.
At least two other students were hospitalized after police say they ingested pills they believed were Percocet.
Fentanyl is a “synthetic opioid, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is also 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Illegally made fentanyl, usually mixed with heroin or cocaine, is the leading cause of overdoses and deaths in the United States.
California recorded 4,009 fentanyl-related deaths in 2020. According to the CDC, this was a 140.5% increase from 2019, when the state recorded 1,675 deaths.
California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard data shows a soaring death rate among 15 to 19-year-olds since 2012.
In 2020, 250 California teens ages 15 to 19 died from fentanyl overdoses. 2021 saw a slight decline to 224.
The data also suggest an acceleration of overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Programs like the Overdose Prevention Initiative have shared resources on how adults can support the teens in their lives beat the addiction.
The website also states how healthcare providers can assist patients, so they don’t misuse prescription opioids. They also give guidelines on how people with chronic pain can help manage their pain with or without opioids to lower the chances of addiction and overdose