In our continued efforts to address safety and security concerns within the Eanes ISD community, we are reaching out to families about the growing concern of fentanyl overdoses nationwide. As you may have seen in the news, this is an increasing problem and has sadly resulted in the recent deaths of students in Central Texas.
The alarming number of opioid overdoses prompted officials in Travis County to declare a public health crisis. Deaths from fentanyl-laced drugs more than tripled from 2020 to 2021. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental deaths in Travis County, ahead of falls and car crashes.
Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is often the ingredient used in counterfeit pills purchased on the street or online. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive and more dangerous. Many people may be unaware their drugs are laced with fentanyl, and it takes very little to cause death.
We encourage families to take the following steps:
- Talk to your children. One of the best ways to protect students from substance abuse is by having regular and open conversations to educate them about the risks. Tell them ANY pill they get from a friend or purchased online or on the street could be a counterfeit pill containing fentanyl.
- Reinforce they should only take pills prescribed by a physician, filled at a pharmacy and ensure the pills have remained in their possession.
- Ensure students are following guidelines for medication administration at school.
Eanes ISD actions and resources:
- Students learn about the dangers of drug use and specific information regarding fentanyl within their health class.
- Each campus stocks Narcan through the nurses’ offices. Narcan, administered quickly enough, can help reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose.
- The school nurse or counselor can provide additional information, answer questions or provide resources to families and students.
- Centers for Disease Control’s Facts About Fentanyl
- Song for Charlie non-profit website
- DEA website on fentanyl
- Narcan information
We appreciate the support of our families, students, school staff and community in working together to keep our students safe and healthy; we encourage conversations with your child(ren) on this rising epidemic in our Central Texas community.