Before Jackson Danzig leaves the house each morning, he makes sure his backpack is filled with the usual high school necessities: books, homework, lunch — and the Narcan sitting on his bedside table.
The opioid overdose reversal drug, also known by its generic name naloxone, is increasingly being carried by high schoolers across the United States as opioids — including the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl — devastate the country.
"Everyone has a friend, or an acquaintance, who has experimented with drugs. Imagine yourself in a scenario where you find that friend in a potential overdose situation and you're not entirely sure what to do," says Danzig, 17, who along with his classmate Marin Peale has organized naloxone training for around 350 of his classmates.
It isn’t a hypothetical scenario: police responded to at least seven suspected overdoses last year at Arlington Public Schools, the largely affluent school district across the river from the nation’s capital where Danzig and Peale are students.
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