News Update

Seven Los Angeles teens have overdosed on likely fentanyl in last month, police say

At least seven teenagers, including a high school student who died last week, have overdosed in Los Angeles in the last month after taking pills possibly laced with fentanyl, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The latest overdose occurred Saturday morning, when a 15-year-old student from STEM Academy of Hollywood was found unconscious by his mother in their Hollywood residence, LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the newspaper.

Police said they are investigating whether the most recent overdose was connected to the drugs that killed 15-year-old Melanie Ramos, a student at Bernstein High School, which is part of STEM Academy, on Sept. 13.

Moore confirmed that 10 pills that police took into custody last week during the arrest of a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of manslaughter tested positive for fentanyl. He described them as “crude blue M30 pills” believed to be counterfeits containing fentanyl and are produced by illicit labs as a substitute for Percocet, a pain reliever that contains the opioid oxycodone.

“It speaks to the impurities of street narcotics,” Moore said. “Fentanyl is a very dangerous drug, and this dosage can range from being a painkiller to a depressant to death.”