Published: 11/10/2022



RIVERSIDE, CA – On Thursday, October 20, 2022, a female student at Arlington High School was inside the main office when she began experiencing a medical emergency. School staff began attending to the student when the Riverside Police School Resource Officer heard the commotion nearby. Paramedics were called and a dispatcher with the City of Riverside’s Public Safety Communications Center started giving medical aid instructions over the phone to staff.


The student stopped breathing and the school resource officer, assistant principal and other staff quickly initiated life-saving measures by doing CPR and preparing a school AED defibrillator. Their efforts revived the student. She started breathing and her pulse returned. Emergency services responded to the 911 call made by the school and administered narcan to the student based on suspicion of a drug overdose, to which she eventually regained full consciousness.


The school resource officer’s subsequent investigation determined this student took a M30 pill, a suspected counterfeit oxycodone tablet containing fentanyl. The student purchased it through a social media platform and had it delivered to her home. Detectives with the Narcotics Unit took over the investigation and later were able to identify, locate, and arrest two people suspected of selling the M30 pill to this student.


“This investigation reinforces the ongoing collaborative efforts to educate our community, and more importantly our youth, about the dangerous consequences fentanyl and other narcotics are responsible for,” stated Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez. “When you engage in illicit drug use, you don’t know exactly what you’re putting into your body. And with marijuana, pills, and many other narcotics intentionally being laced with fentanyl so often now, the next time could easily be your last.”


“We are grateful that the student is safe. This is the first known case of fentanyl affecting a student within RUSD and we would like it to be the last. Students and families need to know that fentanyl is real and deadly,” said Riverside Unified School District Deputy Superintendent, Tim Walker. “The life saving measures and quick response from our leadership, school resource officer and paramedics is evidence of our partnership and strong emergency response protocols. We urge families to continue to talk to their children about the dangers of fentanyl, and drugs in general. It takes all of us to advocate for our students and their safety.”


RUSD continues to collaborate with the Riverside Police Department and the County of Riverside by sharing drug awareness campaigns. In addition, counselors and the Family Resource Center are available to address the needs of students and families. This includes co-hosting family wellness workshops on youth and opioids alongside the Riverside County Department of Public Health. In addition, every year RUSD hosts Red Ribbon Week (October 23) where students learn about the dangers of drugs through different school site activities.


It is important to note that the school resource officers assigned to each comprehensive high school carry narcan onsite as a preventative measure.


Helpful resources:


To report suspected illegal narcotics activity in the city of Riverside, you can do so anonymously by emailing [email protected], or by downloading the Riverside Police Department’s “Atlas 1” mobile app and use the “Send a Message” feature.  Our app can be downloaded at iOS Atlas 1 App or Android Atlas 1 App.