The death of another North Texas student from a fentanyl overdose — this time in Plano — has further added to the regional tragedy unfolding as the drug continues to circulate.
Theresa Williams, superintendent of the Plano Independent School District (PISD), informed district parents of the February tragedy in a letter on Wednesday.
“This was our … worst nightmare come true,” said Stephanie Vaughn, mother of the victim, Sienna, speaking with WFAA. Her daughter, who was unresponsive when found, was taken to the hospital on February 19.
“[Doctors] said we could go in and talk to her and tell her goodbye, and we did,” Stephanie Vaughn told the news outlet.
Sienna’s father, Ryan Vaughn, told WFAA that he believes Sienna did not know what she was taking and probably thought it was a regular painkiller, not one laced with fentanyl.
“It is a trap that kids are falling into daily,” he said.
Superintendent Williams called on PISD parents and guardians to talk with their children about the dangers of fentanyl use.
“It is crucial that students and those of us who care for them understand the risks involved and the devastating consequences that can come from experimenting with this and other drugs, which come in various forms — from pills to vape solutions.
“It is important to know that fentanyl is 50-100 times stronger than morphine, and doses as small as 2 grains of salt can be potentially lethal — one pill can kill,” wrote Williams.
News of the death of Sienna Vaughn follows a series of overdoses and three deaths allegedly tied to a single drug trafficking operation selling pills laced with fentanyl to students at Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
However, even after federal authorities arrested the two primary suspects involved, another alleged drug dealer appeared to capitalize on his competitors’ absence, directly advertising online to local teenagers. He was also arrested.
Drug trafficking has been a serious problem in the region for years now, especially in Dallas, where City officials have yet to execute an effective response. Drug offenses year-to-date are currently on track to match 2022’s numbers, with more than 2,100 reported incidents so far, according to the City of Dallas Open Data crime analytics dashboard.
As previously reported in The Dallas Express, some Texas state lawmakers are trying to get a handle on the problem by instituting a new law that would empower prosecutors with the ability to charge fentanyl dealers with murder, should it be proven that their drug dealing resulted in an overdose death.