STERLING, Va. - Fentanyl is being abused at Park View High School – so much so that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has allocated additional resources to track down who's supplying the deadly drugs and which students are dealing them.
At least eight Park View students have overdosed on opioids this school year, and the sheriff's office says seven of those incidents were reported in the past three weeks.
Four of the overdoses happened inside the school, three required the use of Narcan, and staff had to administer CPR on two of those occasions, according to LCSO records.
"We know the overwhelming number of Park View students are responsible and care about the safety of their school, and we are putting all available resources into identifying who is responsible for distributing these lethal drugs," said Sheriff Mike Chapman. "We have also encouraged LCPS to continue its communications with the Park View community and have offered our assistance with additional educational and security measures."
Photo via Loudoun County Public Schools
Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence called the situation a "crisis."
In a statement, Dr. Spence said that he was both "concerned" and "saddened" that the illegal drug activity is impacting the Park View community.
"LCPS is taking active steps to support our students, families and staff with fentanyl awareness and education, including training and supplying staff in each of our high schools with Naloxone for emergencies," he said. "This week, Park View families received a message with information and resources, and school leadership is holding grade-level assemblies and parent meetings. Extra administrators, counselors, and safety and security Officers are also supporting our Park View community."
"We began to address Fentanyl awareness last spring, with a series of six community information sessions and will continue this effort division wide. I think it is important to note that the issue of addiction is truly at play here. When students come to school, we want them to learn and thrive. But, most of all we want them to live. We must, as a community, come together to find ways to help our young people who are facing these issues," he added.
Including the incidents at Park View High School, this year, the sheriff's office says it has dealt with 18 reports of opioid overdoses by young people in Loudoun County. In 2022, the sheriff's office handled a total of 19 comparable reports of youth opioid overdoses.
While the fentanyl problem is being investigated at Park View, the sheriff's office says it doesn't plan to release the names of victims or suspects.
If you have any information about the incidents at Park View or any other Loudoun County school, the LCSO wants you to reach out to them at 703-777-1021.