MALIBU—On Tuesday, October 18, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to place the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, or Narcan, at Malibu and other Los Angeles County libraries. Under this new plan librarians will be trained to administer the drug in case of an overdose.

This motion comes after reports of fentanyl related deaths among high school aged students transpired in the area. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, fentanyl overdoses have nearly tripled among teenagers. In the past year, Los Angeles County has seen about a dozen reported overdoses among teens who have taken the substance. Some of whom were as young as 15.   

A Malibu library representative told Canyon News they currently don’t have staff members willing to comment on the matter and there has not been any reports of overdoses that have transpired within the library. 

The rise of overdose cases at public high schools have prompted the distribution of Narcan on school campuses. 

Supervisor Janice Hahn, who introduced the motion, said in a statement: “Opioid deaths and fentanyl poisonings are on the rise, and we should make sure Narcan is at our county libraries where so many young people spend time after school. Parents are scared and want to know where they can get Narcan to keep in case of an emergency, so I want to explore making our libraries Narcan kit distribution sites.”

Canyon News reached out to Supervisor Hahn, but did not hear back before print. 

According to the CDC, ​​pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed in transdermal patches or lozenges and can be diverted for misuse and abuse in the United States.

Fentanyl is often added to heroin and cocaine to increase its effectiveness, often without the user knowing, according to The Ponte Malibu Recovery Center’s website.

In the beginning of 2022, three teenage girls from Santa Monica overdosed on fentanyl after taking a drug that they thought was ecstasy that they purchased online.

According to the Los Angeles County Public Department of Health, there are steps one can take to prevent fentanyl related deaths. 

  1. Have Narcan or Naloxone on hand. It can be purchased without a prescription at California pharmacies.
  2. Never use drugs alone. Have a trusted person present as a safeguard in case of overdose. Anyone using drugs alone can call Never Use Alone at 1-800-484-3731 and an operator will remain on the line and will call emergency services if the user stops responding.
  3. Test drugs before using them. Fentanyl test strips identify contaminated drugs. Such test strips aren’t 100 percent reliable, but they can save lives if used correctly. You can purchase them affordably online at: BTNX,, Dose Test, Dance Safe, Wisebatch, or TACO.

The symptoms of an opioid overdose include: stupor or altered mental state, loss of consciousness, slowed or erratic heart rate, respiratory depression or failure, nausea or vomiting, pinpoint pupils, skin color changes, seizures, cold and clammy skin, and muscle spasms.