CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The addiction epidemic driven by fentanyl that has costed more than 100,000 American lives in each of the past two years is affecting several communities in the Coastal Bend.
Students at the School of Science and Technology (SST) have gotten more than a math and science lessons they got a lesson in fentanyl education as well.
“It is absolutely terrifying that one pill ruin our kids’ lives,” Katie Sheehan, the assistant principal of SST said.
Spring break, while exciting for many students, has raised concerns for teachers and school administrators about.
“Working in a high school, one of my biggest fears is that I send my kiddos off for spring break and one of them doesn’t come back,” Sheehan said. "(I try to help) by giving them this information, making them aware of the situation, making them aware of the dangers of accidental overdoses."
The Drug Enforcement Administration said that, drug poisingings is now the leading cause of death for people aged 18 to 45-years-old in the United States.
Mark Schauer, the assistant chief of the Corpus Christi Police Department, said many overdoses happen because of the lack of knowledge.
“Middle schooler and high schoolers are more amid to take a pill someone gave them, saying are you having some pain, ‘oh look, I just got these, get high at the beach’," Schauer said. "Those could potentially have fentanyl, and a speck the size of a grain of salt could kill them."
The name refers to the variety of bright colors of these types of fentanyl pills, called "rainbow fentanyl".
The DEA said drug cartels created this newest fentanyl variation to target young people, and even children. But students like Christian Aparicio are becoming more informed.
“I feel more confident in being able to protect myself and my friend around me," Aparicio, a sophomore at SST said. "Because I know it’s very deadly, I can inform them and let them know and get away from all of that."
Officials recommended that you don't take candy or pills from anyone that you are not familiar with. They said that you should know fentanyl can be hidden in anything and you should use caution when you are unsure about something.
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