Livermore parents, teens, educators react to 2 possible opioid overdose deaths in two days

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

Livermore school administrators say they have called their crisis response team into action after police announced two teenagers died in two days of possible opioid overdoses.

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KGO) -- Livermore school administrators say they have called their crisis response team into action after police announced two teenagers died in two days of possible opioid overdoses.

RELATED: Creator of 'Dilbert' comic speaks out after stepson's overdose death, Livermore police issues warning to parents

Police have not released the teens' identities. Administrators say they don't even know the names of the teens but they are aware that some kids know and are grieving. They activated their crisis response team and also reached out to parents with a guide on how to support kids who are grieving.

When parent Manisha Maheshwari heard the news she said, "I felt really sad for the kids for what they were going through and the parents and what they are going through now and just what they must be feeling right now wondering what could I have done beforehand, was there a way for me to know."

Student Hannah Tavis-Owens knew one of the victims. She said she cried for half an hour in the counselors office when she heard.

RELATED: News anchor reports on her own daughter's overdose death

"She was a beautiful person outside and inside, caring, and thoughtful-- if anyone had a bad day she dropped everything to make sure they were okay," she said.

Livermore police announced the deaths on social media. They said two teenagers died in two days and they suspect they overdosed on opioids. They aren't releasing their identities, but the creator of the comic strip Dilbert says he believes one of the victims they are talking about is his stepson who was found dead in his bedroom on Sunday.

Eric Thomas will have the latest on this story starting at 5 p.m. on ABC7 News. Follow his updates on Twitter here.

For more resources for preventing prescription drug abuse, visit this page.

Below is a letter sent by the Livermore School District to parents regarding the deaths of the two teens:

Dear Parents and Guardians of Livermore Students,Members of our high school communities are deeply saddened by recent news of the untimely passing of two Livermore teenagers. Because the matter is under investigation by the Livermore Police Department, school officials do not have details or any information to share. Even in the absence of official news, our students are grieving, and our staff has immediately responded in support of our students' needs.Counselors have been available to students this week and will continue to be available as needed to provide support. We encourage you to talk with your children and let them know that feeling sad or uncertain at this time is understandable, and that counselors at school are there to talk with them and support them through this difficult situation.We also encourage you to listen to your child during this time, and help support him or her in dealing with loss. Some talking points for you to consider:

  • Allow your child to talk about his or her feelings. Often, death brings up previous experiences with loss. If this is the first loss your child has experienced, your child may not know how to respond and will be looking for your guidance.
  • There isn't a "right" way to feel at this time. Affirm all expressions. It's okay to express feelings honestly.
  • Reaffirm that your child is safe and that your child is loved.
  • Watch for signs of changes in your child's typical behavior (such as aggression, withdrawal, etc.). Talk with your child about these changes, and reach out to the school for support, as needed.
  • Help your child focus on his or her normal routine.
If your child needs support, please do not hesitate to reach out to your school counselor.For additional information, please see the attached reference provided by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and shared by our school psychologist team, titled "Death and Grief: Supporting Children and Youth."Thank you for your partnership in the ongoing support of our students.Sincerely,Dr. Kelly BowersSuperintendent of Schools