Police in Arlington, Virginia, are investigating a drug overdose that happened in a high school bathroom.
Police and fire department crews arrived at Wakefield High School on S. Dinwiddie Street on Tuesday around 9:30 a.m. for a report of an unresponsive boy. The boy was taken to the hospital, where police said he is in “critical condition.”
Four other juveniles were evaluated on the scene by medics.
In an email to the Wakefield High School community, Principal Chris Willmore called it a “difficult day” and said that school staff began lifesaving interventions before first responders arrived.
Arlington police said they are investigating what happened as an apparent drug overdose.
Neither the school nor the police department provided information about the type of drug that the boy might have used.
A Wakefield parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said the school community had been advised in the past of the threat of opioid abuse at the school.
The parent said that the school was equipped with Narcan, the nasal spray used in cases of an opioid overdose. However, there is no information on whether the prescription drug was administered in this incident.
Anyone with information on what happened should call the police’s tip line at 703-228-4180.
The school dismissed students at 12:30 p.m. and canceled all after-school and evening activities because of the ongoing investigation.
Due to a medical emergency and ongoing investigation at @WHSHappenings, students will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. today, Jan. 31. All after-school and evening activities are canceled.
— Arlington Public Schools (@APSVirginia) January 31, 2023
After a student overdose in neighboring Montgomery County, Maryland, school officials and police encouraged the community to be vigilant amid a rise in youth opioid overdoses. Parents were urged to educate themselves about the dangers of drug use, specifically fentanyl, because it’s responsible for more than 70% of all overdoses in the Maryland county.
Last December, Prince William County police in Virginia said they responded to three overdoses involving teenagers in one week; one of those teenagers died. Police said the rise in overdoses were tied to counterfeit painkiller laced with fentanyl.
WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.