The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

Park View Hosts Fentanyl Informational Session In Response to Overdoses at Schools Around the County

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, regional officials and others spoke at the event on November 4th.
Cynthia Gonzalez
Cars wrapped with drug awareness slogans were parked outside of Park View alongside the school resource officer and sheriffs who welcomed community members into the school.

In response to the 19 in-school overdoses since the beginning of the school year, Park View High School hosted a Fentanyl Informational Session on Saturday November 4th delivered by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) and other county and regional officials. The session provided an in-depth overview of resources available throughout the county to combat the Fentanyl crisis in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) and in the community, the most important tactics being communication and education according to speakers.

Attendees were trained on how to administer Narcan (Naloxone), the medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, through a video module. Outside of the auditorium, community members could take home their dose of Narcan, a protective face mask for CPR rescue breathing, grab informational brochures and ask experts questions.

Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, assistant special agent Shane Todd, who is in charge of the Washington Division Office, spoke at the presentation, along with Special Agent Drew who answered questions at their booth outside of the auditorium. “[Drug abuse has] changed tremendously. Now it’s one pill that can kill, the Fentanyl crisis has caused instant deaths…whereas in the past, drug abuse would still cause death, but it would take a while,” Todd said.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office focused on education and mobilization in their presentation to the Sterling Park community. (Lilly Cameron)

LCSO hopes that the presentation at Park View will be the first of many in efforts to raise community awareness and vigilance during the nationwide crisis. On November 28th at 7pm, Dominion will host a Fentanyl Informational session in Spanish given by Deputy Rivera in the auditorium. The session is jointly organized by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Security Resource Officers. Food will be provided for Dominion families starting at 6pm in the library before the presentation and day care will also be available.

“It’s important for parents to get information and to learn what’s going on behind school, for them to see what adults don’t see in schools. That’s why we’re here today, to try to spread the word,” Special Agent Drew said. “Don’t take it. That would be my message to students. It’s not worth dying. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is your life worth $10?’ Don’t do drugs, your body is developing. It’s not worth risking an overdose and dying.”

The fentanyl-laced blue M30 pills being distributed and real M30 pills look identical, making them difficult to spot. All officials at the event urged community members not to take any pills not prescribed to them. “We are seeing it way more than we did before, especially in this area. I know [fentanyl is] a nationwide issue, but in this area we’re seeing it a lot more in the pill form” Drew said.

Re-elected Chair at Large Phyllis Randall also spoke at the session with insight as a former substance abuse therapist and also disclosed that her father struggled with substance abuse. “I know that we’re talking about not just numbers and stats, but we’re talking about your child, and how scary that is. It’s a very scary conversation to have, and I don’t want to lose that piece of it, that individual personal piece of it,” she said.

Community members and leaders of all ages attended the event. Castiel Molina, a fourth grader from Potomac Elementary school who was in attendance said, “I felt like it would be important for me to learn this. It might have taken one hour of my time, but I’m fine with that because I’ve never learned about the stuff before. I thought it was important to learn how to bring somebody back to life because I think I could use that some day.” 

His mother, Carla Sanchez, brought him because “it’s important for the kids to know exactly what’s going on. I don’t believe that they’re ever too young to know the information of what’s happening.”

School board candidates were also in attendance. “I came here today because fentanyl is not just a local issue. It’s a national issue. It’s not just a school issue. It’s a societal issue. It’s important that as a school system, as an administration, as a school board, we open up the lines of communication with the community. Parents can’t be effective at preventative measures, if they don’t have the knowledge of what’s going on,” Candidate Michael Rivera said.

“I hope the community responds with an understanding that we really do have to tackle this together,” Randall said.

According to Park View Principal Jason Jefferson, a similar informational session was held lat Parkview last year. “Moving forward, we are also having grade level assemblies for our students…and they will receive a presentation. Not the same presentation that they got that everyone got here today, but something that’s more directed towards teenagers,” Jefferson said.




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About the Contributors
Lilly Cameron
Lilly Cameron, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Lilly Cameron is Co-Editor-in-Chief and first began writing for DHS Press in 2020 during her freshman year. She enjoys journalism because it allows her to stay connected to the school and primarily writes news pieces, feature stories, and theater reviews. When she is not writing articles or in dance rehearsals, Lilly enjoys watching the newest movies along with her fair share of comfort films.
Cynthia Gonzalez
Cynthia Gonzalez, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Cynthia Gonzalez is Co-Editor-in-Chief, and is a senior serving her fourth year writing for DHS Press. Her favorite pieces to write are ones relating to Latin and Hispanic culture and mental health. You can usually find her listening to her endless Spotify playlist of spanish music or on the pickleball courts.

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