Loudoun County, VA (October 31, 2023) – The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is investigating at least eight opioid-related overdoses of Park View High School students, seven of which have been reported in the past three weeks.
Four of the overdoses occurred in the school, and of these, three required the administration of Narcan, and two of those required CPR by school personnel. All the overdoses appear to involve fentanyl, which is commonly found in the form of a counterfeit 30 mg oxycodone pill that is blue, circular, and may be stamped “M30”.
The LCSO has assigned additional resources to Park View High School to identify the source and distribution of the opioids and is working closely with LCPS administrative and security personnel there.
“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,” he added.
“I am concerned and saddened by this crisis impacting the Park View community,” said Dr. Aaron Spence, LCPS Superintendent. “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. 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 & 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.
No names will be released by the LCSO, nor information about the status of the ongoing investigation.
An opioid overdose is defined as a reaction to a suspected opioid that requires medical treatment in the form of Narcan, CPR, or transport to the hospital.
Including these recent overdoses at Park View, the LCSO has investigated 18 reports of opioid overdoses of Loudoun County juveniles this year. In 2022, the LCSO investigated a total of 19 comparable reports.
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid, easy to disguise, and relatively inexpensive to produce and distribute. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 7 out of every 10 pills seized contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.
The LCSO continues to work with our local partners, including LCPS and the Loudoun County Mental Health, Substance Abuse, & Developmental Services on drug education, prevention, and treatment programs, as well as support for students, families, and school staff. This includes sponsoring opioid education forums at local high schools and, most recently, hosting the Fighting Fentanyl Together community forum last month in Ashburn.
We urge parents and guardians to have regular conversations with their children about the dangers of drugs and how they may appear or be shared, and to be vigilant about any suspicious activities.
Please contact the LCSO immediately if you have any information about the incidents at Park View High School or any other Loudoun County school.
Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the LCSO is sharing some of the resources available.