To ensure that students are educated about the dangers of the deadly drug fentanyl, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) launched a District-wide Fentanyl Awareness Education Campaign this morning at Miami Senior High. The campaign will include assemblies at all 62 high schools beginning next week.
"Losing a child is the worse pain anyone can ever experience. We decided as a way of therapy to get involve in the solution," said Greg Swan founder and CEO of Fentanyl Fathers, whose son died of a fentanyl overdose. "Thank you so much M-DCPS. You're way ahead because you don't want this happening in your schools. Let's make sure our scorecard is still a perfect zero at the end of this.”
School Board Chair Mari Tere Rojas introduced an item at a February School Board meeting, which led to organizing and initiating the campaign.
Miami Schools Police Chief Ivan Silva, M-DCPS administrators and Lisa Keller, Regional Director for the South Florida Opiod Alliance, attended the event to show support for the new campaign. Assemblies to make high school students aware of the dangers of fentanyl will feature a video with facts about the drug and its potency, as well as testimonials from parents of young people who died of fentanyl overdoses.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Fentanyl is the single deadliest and the most dangerous illegal drug our nation has ever encountered. The drug is approximately 50 times more potent than heroine and 100 times more potent than morphine.
Its affordability, easy accessibility, and addictive nature make it particularly dangerous to high school students, who may overdose because they are unaware that other drugs are laced with fentanyl. Swan mentioned that nationally Florida is second only to California in fentanyl deaths, with 7,800 young people dying every year of fentanyl overdoses.
Board Chair Rojas used the phrase “One pill can kill” to emphasize the
importance of educating students on the dangers of fentanyl. She noted that every
M-DCPS school has Narcan available, the medication used to prevent overdose
deaths immediately. M-DCPS had been fortunate so far not to have
any fentanyl related incidents.
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TOP CAPTION: Pictured center, Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ivan Silva, Miami-Dade School Board Chair Mari Tere Rojas, M-DCPS Chief Operating Officer Luis E. Diaz, Fentanyl Fathers CEO and founder Greg Swan, South Florida Opioid Alliance Regional Director Lisa Keller, and M-DCPS officials kick off a District-wide Fentanyl Awareness Campaign.
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