NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (PIX11) — A New Rochelle High School student is lucky to be alive after overdosing at school.
“It’s crazy to me. How people can mix this stuff easily,” said New Rochelle High School student Sergio Lopez, who can’t believe that one of his classmates nearly died.
Parents were notified by a letter from the school district that a student vaped what they believed was marijuana, but it had been laced with what appeared to be fentanyl. The nursing staff had to use Narcan to save the student.
“It really is like an issue to see a kid go down like that in school, but thankfully the nurses were there to save him,” said Darrin Greaves, a student at the high school.
Jonathan P. Raymond, the superintendent of the City School District of New Rochelle, implored parents to speak to their children about the dangers of vaping and urged them to attend a presentation on how to spot alcohol, vaping, and drug use in teens.
“Just look out for your kids and be more aware of what they may be doing. I know they might only have one kid and that kid means the world to them, so just be more aware,” said Greaves.
The Lexington Center for Recovery serves Westchester County families dealing with addiction. Program leaders say vaping marijuana has become more popular with teenagers. The absence of smoke makes it harder to detect. The high can be more intense than a traditional joint, but it comes with dangerous risks.
“We don’t really know what’s being put in there. Especially nowadays, it’s so easy to be laced. Unless you are seeing the person and what’s being put in there, it’s a gamble,” said James Hughes, the program’s director at its Mount Kisco clinic.
The school district is urging parents to keep Narcan in their homes, just in case.
“It’s better to have Narcan on hand and have it there when you need it than not have it all,” said Kathryn Valencia, Westchester County director of programs for the Lexington Center for Recovery.
School officials are urging students to report any banned substances like vapes or cartridges to the school system. If they fear their classmates have overdosed, call 911 immediately. They will not face any repercussions.