At Least 7 LAUSD Teens Overdosed on Fentanyl Pills This Month

The school year just started and 7 L.A. students have overdosed, with cops suspecting the poison pills may have a common source

Barely a month into the school year, seven students in the Los Angeles Unified School District have overdosed from pills laced with Fentanyl, possibly all coming from the same source in the area of Bernstein and Hollywood high schools and Lexington Park, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The most recent of these overdoses was a 15-year-old boy found by his mother in their Hollywood home on Saturday. As the Los Angeles Times reports, police responded to a call about the hospitalization of a minor and discovered that the boy had ingested what he thought was a quarter-pill of Percocet, though police believe the pill was possibly laced with Fentanyl. While this student was able to receive treatment and is expected to survive, not all the teens were as lucky.

Melanie Ramos and her friend, both 15, took the pills and were found on the Bernstein High School campus last Tuesday. Ramos was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics while her friend survived.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore stated, “It speaks to impurities of street narcotics… Fentanyl is a very dangerous drug, and this dosage can range from being a painkiller to a depressant to death.” Moore confirmed that the 10 pills police confiscated last week during the arrest of a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of manslaughter—described by Moore as “crude blue m30 pills”—tested positive for fentanyl.

Though police have identified and arrested that teen and another on possible manslaughter charges, Moore stated, “We’re not pursuing any type of criminal charge against the people who have taken illicit drugs and are suffering from their effect… We want to identify the purveyor. If there’s a student, then there’s an adult and a drug trade organization that’s engaged in the marketing and distribution.”

Families from across the district have called for anyone involved with the distribution of the pills to be held accountable.

“I’m angry that these kids had got ahold of these pills and decided to distribute them at school knowing what this can do to somebody… There’s somebody connected to them and somebody hired them,” Gladys Manriques, a relative of Ramos, told reporters. “We want [the district] to take us into consideration. Don’t leave us just reading whatever we see in the news… I think we deserve to be informed. I think we can do better on that. We have a million questions that haven’t been answered.”

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