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- A family’s fatal fentanyl message: Fake and Fatal: Cal’s Story
- What is fentanyl?
- What is a Fentapill?
- Why are there so many fentapills?
- Protect yourself from the dangers of fentanyl
- What can we do?
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: Facts about Fentanyl (PDF)
- Drug Enforcement Agency: One Pill Can Kill Fact Sheet (PDF)
- DEA: What Every Parent and Caregiver Needs to Know about Fake Pills
- Drug Enforcement Agency: Emoji Drug Code Decoded
Across our nation, we are seeing a frightening epidemic unfold in what we know as the fentanyl crisis. Students all over the United States, in the state of Texas, and even in surrounding areas have already seen the most devastating of consequences due to students taking fentanyl: death.
Hitchcock ISD is committed to keeping our students, staff, and community informed of the dangers of fentanyl and want to bring as much awareness to this crisis as possible. Together with the Hitchcock ISD Police Department, we are promoting an awareness campaign to bring our community together in an informed and educated way over the dangers of this deadly drug.
What is fentanyl?
According to Texas Health and Human Services, "Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Prescription fentanyl is safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor to treat severe pain. However, illicitly manufactured fentanyl is also distributed through illegal drug markets. Recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. and Texas are linked to illegally made fentanyl.
Illegally manufactured fentanyl is often added to other substances like counterfeit pills, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. As a result, many people may not know they're ingesting fentanyl, leading to accidental poisoning.
Even in small doses, fentanyl exposure can cause a life-threatening overdose. According to 2020 provisional data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), 883 people in Texas died from fentanyl-related overdoses. In 2021, that number climbed to 1,672 deaths — an 89% increase. Read more from DSHS about fentanyl-related deaths (PDF)."
How are we prepared?
Hitchcock ISD teachers and staff, along with the Hitchcock ISD Police Department receive training each year to stay up-to-date on the signs of students who may be under the influence of a drug/alcohol.
All Hitchcock ISD Police Officers have received extensive training on the warning signs of an overdose and how to administer Narcan (medicine approved by the FDA designed to rapidly reverse drug overdoses). Every police officer keeps a unit of Narcan in both their offices and police units.
How can you help?
- Chat with your children. One of the best ways to protect your children from substance abuse is by having regular and open conversations to educate them about the risks. Throw the idea that “it can’t happen to you or your family” out the window and take the time to ask the difficult questions.
- Encourage your children to never accept ANY pill from a friend, purchased online from Snapchat or Instagram, or on the street because this pill could be a counterfeit pill containing deadly amounts of fentanyl.
- Advise your children to only take pills prescribed by a physician and filled at a pharmacy. Ensure that students are not carrying medications at school. This includes over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil and Motrin.
Watch for changes in their behavior including: Irregular eating or sleeping patterns, low energy, general signs of depression or anxiety, unusual irritability, slipping grades, lack of interest in activities that they once loved, drastic clothing style changes
- Stay Involved:
- Speak up. Contact law enforcement when you suspect drug-related activity in your neighborhood.
- Keep any prescription drugs in your home secure and locked away, out of the reach of others.
- Take advantage of national or local take-back days sponsored by law enforcement or your local pharmacy to discard any unneeded or expired medications. The next National Take Back Day will be posted when we have it. Walgreens also offers medication disposal locations.
This event is for Hitchcock High School students and parents only. It is NOT open to the public.