Sac City Unified distributes Narcan on all campuses for suspected overdose. How education on fentanyl and other drugs varies greatly across California schools. Stockton Soul discusses the “Sound + Mind Celebration” on Oct. 22.
SCUSD Stocks Narcan on Campuses
Opioid deaths fueled by Fentanyl are on the rise in California. Data from the state shows a roughly 25% increase from 2020 to 2021. But drug overdoses jump to 45% that same period when isolated just to the synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The trajectory is truly staggering when looking back over the past several years. In Sacramento County, there were 57 opioid-related deaths in 2019. In 2021, just two years later, that number rose to 174 a more than three-fold increase. And this is increasingly impacting young adults and children. Fentanyl deaths jumped 625% statewide between 2018 and 2020. And often they are unaware that they are taking fentanyl.
In response, the California Department of Public Health offers free Naloxone to schools to reverse an opioid overdose. Victoria Flores heads the Student Support and Health Services at Sac City Unified Sacramento City Unified joined Insight to share how they are stocking this life-saving medication across all campuses.
Drug Education in Schools
Earlier in the show, we heard from Sacramento City Unified about the preventative measure the district is taking to help or even save children from potentially dangerous, or fatal, overdoses by stocking Narcan on all campuses. But aside from prevention on the back end, there is concern about the lack of education about the dangers of fentanyl and other dangerous substances. Some districts do it well, while others don’t.
According to reporting by Edsource only two-thirds of California middle and high schools teach health education, and many times, the classes are optional. It's important because last year almost 800 Californians under the age of 24 died of fentanyl overdoses, more than 20-times the number of deaths in 2016. Fentanyl is also blamed for more than 80% of all drug-related deaths among California young people last year. Carolyn Jones is a Senior Reporter at EdSource and joined Insight to share her reporting.
Stockton Soul ‘Sound + Mind Celebration’
When you think of string instruments, like the violin and cello, the reflexive connection may likely lead to classical music. But these elegant orchestral instruments have a range far beyond what we view as “traditional.”
Two musicians from San Joaquin County saw what was lacking in their field and felt trapped. So they did something about it, not just to satisfy their needs, but also to educate others in an entertaining way about the foundation of American music. Stockton Soul was created as a revival of the days of “soul orchestra” made popular by the likes of Motown in the ’60s and ’70s. The non-profit takes its performances into classrooms and throughout the San Joaquin County community, including a musical wellness event.
Darcy Ford-James, Director of Stockton Soul, will be hosting the “Sound + Mind Celebration” on Saturday, Oct. 22, and joined insight to give to tell us more about their music and preview the event.