MCPS holds second forum about the fentanyl crisis at Northwood HS

Feb. 25, 2023, 11:53 a.m. | By Alex Feingold-Black, Sachin Parikh | 1 year, 2 months ago

Experts within and outside of MCPS informed hundreds of students, staff, and parents about the crisis and distributed Narcan kits

Hundreds of students, staff, parents and elected officials attended the forum at Northwood HS. Photo courtesy of Alex Feingold-Black and Sachin Parikh.

On Feb. 25, Montgomery County Administration collaborated with Montgomery Goes Purple to host an informational forum about fentanyl at Northwood High School from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Hundreds of parents, Montgomery County officials and students gathered to learn about the prevalence of fentanyl in the county and resources available for fighting substance abuse.

The event began in the Northwood auditorium with several MCPS officials and local advocates – including MCPS superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight and MCPS Board of Education president Karla Silvestre – reiterating the dangers of fentanyl and urging the community to actively stay involved.

Laura Mitchell & Melissa Rivera then led a panel-style discourse with Dr. Patricia Kapunan, Ed Clarke, and Dr. Cara Grant to answer questions submitted by the community prior to the event, such as the importance of Narcan, school bathrooms, and resources for support, were answered by experts inside and outside of MCPS.

Attendees walked toward breakout rooms where they had the opportunity to ask questions to the experts in attendance. Photo courtesy of Alex Feingold-Black and Sachin Parikh.

Cara Grant, the MCPS supervisor for Physical and Health education announced plans to double health education content about opioids and fentanyl starting with the class of 2025.

Since the start of the school year in Montgomery County, staff members have already cumulatively saved 12 lives with Narcan. However, due to the codes of confidentiality, Dr. Kapunan explained that it is impossible to let all of the community know what happened in the case of a medical emergency.

To conclude the event, attendees were guided back to the auditorium for an instructional session on how to administer Narcan.

Throughout the forum, speakers mentioned numerous resources for helping those dealing with or recovering from substance abuse:

  1. Montgomery Goes Purple
  2. Child & Adolescent Assessment Services (CAAS)
  3. SAMHSA’s National Helpline and Online Treatment Locator
  4. 988 – Mental Health Hotline
  5. Montgomery County Crisis Center
  6. MCPS Stronger Student App

Stay tuned for future articles on SCO related to the fentanyl crisis.

Last updated: March 7, 2023, 1:38 p.m.

Tags: Northwood Narcan Fentanyl

Alex Feingold-Black. Hey! I'm Alex [he/him] and I'm the Feature Editor and External Manager for SCO. Outside of school you can find me running laps around a track and eating from Potbelly's Sandwich Shop. More »

Sachin Parikh. Hello! My name is Sachin and I'm a senior in the CAP program. I'm currently co-EiC along with Isabelle Yang, and have previously held staff writer and sports editor roles over my three years on the publication. When I'm not working on SCO, I enjoy … More »

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