Two Seattle-area high school students accidentally overdose on fentanyl from laced vape pens

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  • 08/09/2023
The Bellevue School District sent out an email to parents and staff of their high schools and middle schools, informing them that two teens had accidentally overdosed on fentanyl using vape pens which either contained or were laced with fentanyl.

According to the email obtained by The Post Millennial, “The district was informed today of an incident involving two BSD high school students, who are believed to have experienced accidental fentanyl overdoses. They are believed to have used vape pens which either contained or were laced with fentanyl.”

The district did not name which school the students attended, nor if the overdoses occurred on campus. “While honoring the privacy of those students and families directly impacted, we feel compelled to share information with our community to create more awareness about this deadly substance.”

The district also included links on identifying fentanyl and recognizing overdose symptoms as well as directions on how to order free Narcan, an overdose-reversing medication.

Additionally, the district encouraged families to “…sit down with their children and discuss the risks of fentanyl.”
The email noted that “King County families are facing a dangerous reality: fatal fentanyl overdoses are on the rise. Even if you don’t think your child is at risk, they need to be prepared. Talk Even If shares the facts about fentanyl, what to look out for, and how to get and provide help in an overdose emergency.”

The district noted that faculty continues “Teaching drug and alcohol use prevention units in middle and high school health classes,” as well as “Training all counselors, nurses and principals to recognize signs of drug and alcohol abuse and how to help.”

The email did not mention any disciplinary actions for students who might bring the deadly substance to school but did state that the district “…will continue to partner with local law enforcement and Youth Eastside Services, who provide drug and alcohol counselors in all high schools, to ensure a safe and bright future for our children.”
Some questioned the extent of the partnership because after removing police from school campuses in the wake of the defund the police movement, the district is now using a private security firm.

Fentanyl overdoses continue to ravage the area. In April, King County passed the 2020 annual total of drug overdoses, only a quarter of the way through 2023, according to data from Seattle-King County Public Health.
In January, it was reported that the King County medical examiner was running out of places to store dead bodies due to the number of fentanyl overdoses.

In nearby Seattle, the Seattle Fire Department responded to 671 suspected drug overdose-related calls in May alone, an increase from 599 in April and a 43 percent year-over-year increase from 434 in 2022.
Earlier this month, the Seattle City Council rejected legislation that would have empowered the Seattle City Attorney to prosecute drug possession and public drug use.

As a result of the vote, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will have the sole authority to prosecute drug-related crimes. Before the vote, King County Prosecutor Leesa Manion urged the council to allow the city attorney to prosecute drug crimes because her office could not handle the additional workload of Seattle’s cases.
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