Keller Independent School District held an awareness-building event on opioids on Tuesday night.
Parents and community members were invited to attend an event called “Over the Opioids” at Keller ISD Education Center on November 7. The two-hour discussion, led by Eduardo Chavez, a seasoned expert and special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), aimed to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and related drugs.
This is the second time Keller ISD has hosted the event, with another held in 2021.
That year, the opioid class of drugs was responsible for over 75% of the 80,411 recorded overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a considerable increase from the 21,089 overdose deaths involving opioids seen in 2010.
Fentanyl is the main driver of these fatal overdoses, with its high potency making it between 50 and 100 times stronger than both heroin and morphine. As such, just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose.
Yet fentanyl continues to pour into the country, especially at the southern border, where during the first month of FY2024 alone, 387 pounds of fentanyl were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
DEA data showed that 42% of pills tested for fentanyl contained a lethal dose, and an analysis “found counterfeit pills ranging from .02 to 5.1 milligrams (more than twice the lethal dose) of fentanyl per tablet.”
Especially alarming is the 20% increase in drug-related deaths among teens aged 14-18 between 2020 and 2021, as calculated by the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare.
Most of these are believed to have been fentanyl poisonings since illicit drug manufacturers tend to fabricate laced counterfeit pills to resemble popular prescription opioids.
Further, dealers reach out to sell these exceedingly dangerous drugs to unsuspecting teens via online platforms.
For instance, some members of a fentanyl drug ring in Carrollton have recently been brought to justice, as covered extensively in The Dallas Express. Yet their dealings came to the attention of the authorities only after a series of overdoses among local students, four of which were fatal.
To foster awareness among parents and the community at large, events like “Over the Overdoses” in Keller ISD aim to curb teen overdoses.
Schools in many ways have become part of the home front in the war against drugs. Texas lawmakers recently passed Tucker’s Law, House Bill 3908, requiring that taxpayer-funded public schools teach a yearly lesson regarding fentanyl and drug abuse awareness, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.