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Knowing the Facts About Fentanyl- A Joint Message from LVJUSD & LPD

October 21, 2022

Dear LVJUSD Parents,

You may be aware of an increasing number of news articles and media stories related to rising concerns around youth fentanyl overdoses. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) defines fentanyl as an extremely potent and dangerous synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. In 2021, more than 5,000 statewide opioid overdose deaths were related to fentanyl and 224 of those deaths were among teens, aged 15-19. We realize that sharing information of this sort can prompt feelings of concern and anxiety. Thankfully, this message is not being sent in response to a community tragedy, but rather as a proactive sharing of information in partnership with our Livermore Police Department to better educate yourself and your students (if age appropriate) on this topic.

Facts about Fentanyl

  • Disguised as Prescription Painkillers: Youth fentanyl-related deaths have occurred by young people consuming counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl that they believed to be  legitimate, prescription drugs. Any pill, regardless of its color, shape, or size, that does not come from a health care provider or pharmacist can potentially contain fentanyl and be deadly. See our fentanyl and opioid webpage for videos related to this. 

  • Rainbow Fentanyl: Fentanyl can now be found in brightly colored forms known as rainbow fentanyl. Rainbow fentanyl can be a pill, a powder, or even a block that resembles sidewalk chalk or candy. While the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and drug policy experts agree that rainbow fentanyl is NOT being targeted to children this Halloween, its likeness to candy may prompt you to have precautionary, age-appropriate conversations with your students. 

Photo credit- NPR

  • Signs of a Fentanyl Overdose:

    • Small, constricted "pinpoint pupils” 

    • Falling asleep or losing consciousness 

    • Slow, weak, or no breathing 

    • Choking or gurgling sounds 

    • Limp body 

    • Cold and/or clammy skin 

    • Discolored skin (especially in lips and nails)  

  • Naloxone: Naloxone is a life-saving medication used to reverse a drug overdose. As a nasal spray, it is commonly referred to as Narcan. Naloxone is safe and easy to use, even by friends or family, when a loved one experiences an overdose event and can be purchased at local pharmacies. Naloxone works almost immediately and is not addictive. 

Our high school administrators, school nurses, front office staff, and School Resource Officers (SROs) have access to Naloxone and have been trained to administer it in an emergency. In response to data that indicates fentanyl use by a younger demographic, we will also provide access and training for Naloxone at our middle schools. 

We are fortunate that our local community has not experienced student fentanyl-related deaths this year as some others have, and we are hopeful that through the sharing of knowledge and information, we can work together to save lives and prevent drug overdose in Livermore. 

For additional information, visit our LVJUSD fentanyl and opioids webpage, CDPH’s fentanyl website, or contact our Health Services Team at


LVJUSD Leadership in partnership with Livermore Police Department