Rise in child opioid overdoses prompts warning from Virginia city

The City of Alexandria is worried after seeing more and more school-aged kids using drugs. Now they are issuing warning about a recent spike in Fentanyl-related overdoses.

Teens are smoking "little blue pills" that are often laced with Fentanyl. Officials believe they may not be understanding the severity of doing this and how dangerous drugs actually are.

Credit: City Of Alexandria

One woman said, "They don’t know. That’s the problem and parents are in denial about them a lot of them until it happens to them."

READ MORE: More than 5,000 suspected Fentanyl-laced pills seized; 2 teens, 2 others arrested

Another gentleman mentioned, "These drugs are so available and they’re unregulated. They’re illegal and unregulated and they’re getting into the lives of children, into the lives of families, and it’s hurting us all. I don’t know how we correct that, but we’ve been too loose in terms of the availability of all kinds of drugs."

"I know it’s happened a few times at my school like sometimes the ambulance will show up and it’s because a kid overdoses. I don’t know how people are going to deal with it. I don’t know how to fix it," said one Alexandria student.

Since the start of this year, the City of Alexandria says there have been 30 overdoses resulting in two deaths. Between April 1st and May 1st, 12 opioid overdoses were reported in Alexandria. Six of them were people under the age of 17. Luckily, none of them were deadly and first responders used Narcan to revive many of them. 

RELATED: Overdose deaths of 2 teens prompts counterfeit drugs warning in Prince William County

On Thursday night, the school board took a major step to fight this battle. They voted to approve for school nurses and administrators to be trained on how to administer Narcan to students. 

FOX 5’s Sierra Fox spoke with the City of Alexandria Opioid Response Coordinator, Emily Bentley, and a criminal investigations division police captain, Monica Lisle, about the opioid problem.

"It certainly gets quite concerning when we begin to talk about this level of overdoses in our schools, with our school-aged youth. It’s an incredible challenge for both the City of Alexandria and the northern Virginia region," said Bentley.

"I can’t even imagine the tragedy families have to go through when they have a family member going through drug addiction especially drug overdose, but the conversation like Emily said has to be had. Family members or parents have to have the conversation that there is no safe drug, there is no safe pill, Fentanyl is everywhere right now," said Lisle.

READ MORE: Fentanyl peddlers arrested for overdose string that killed 9 in Southwest

Officials recommend people do not take any drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor.