Following overdose at a Rochester HS, local experts weigh-in on teen drug overdose awareness

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(ABC 6 News) – An overdose at a Rochester High School on Wednesday is raising new concerns about a problem Minnesota lawmakers say is happening at schools throughout the state.

Now they are pushing for new legislation at the state capitol.

Emergency responders rushed to Century to help a student who had overdosed in a bathroom.

They used Narcan to help save the student.

RELATED: Century HS student taken to hospital following medical emergency

ABC 6 News is told that the student is doing much better, due to the quick thinking of other students as well as the actions of the school nurse.

Lillian Waxlax is currently going through a long-term program at MN Adult & Teen Challenge, a local organization dedicated to helping those struggling with addiction take back control of their lives.

The 20-year-old says before her addiction, she used to love to ride horses and kept busy as a teenager playing lacrosse and volleyball.

“I was a totally different person before I came here and I am a different person now,” Waxlax said.

She was just a teenager when she first took fentanyl without knowing it.

“When I was 16, I had started pills and I did snort them and smoke them, that’s how I did them,” she explained.

For years she was addicted to the deadly drug, but when she was 20 and getting high in a gas station bathroom, her heart stopped.

“I originally flatlined, so I didn’t have a pulse,” Waxlax explained. “I was actually dead for like two minutes.”

But she says the scariest part was that she wasn’t afraid she was going to die.

“It’s scary how I did not care about my life,” she added.

Just last year, the Minnesota Legislature website says that the number of teens dying in the state from drug overdoses skyrocketed by 49%.

“Addiction is a real battle and it’s a disease right, it’s not just something that we choose to be addicted to,” Waxlax said.

Last fall, the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crimes Enforcement Team uncovered an amount of drugs even its captain found shocking.

“We confiscated and seized more drugs than we had in years probably as long as we’ve kept records in a three month time frame,” explained Capt. Mike Bromberg.

Now, Minnesota lawmakers are working to help.

There’s a bill in the house that would require all Minnesota public schools be stocked with Narcan, a life-saving opiod reversal drug.

“It’s never a good day when we lose a young person to addiction,” said Rep. Kim Hicks, who represents District 25A. “It’s just awful and so if we can carry emergency medication to prevent awful, we should do that.”

The hope is to give those struggling with addiction a second chance.

Which is something that Waxlax is grateful for.

“There was the younger Lillian, there was the using Lillian, and then there’s the 20-year-old Lillian that I am,” she said. “No one knows her yet but they will know her.”