On Wednesday, October 25, students attended an assembly on opioid addiction during homeroom featuring guest speakers from Fentanyl Fathers. Speakers informed students about the dangers of fentanyl and the best preventative measures to take to avoid addiction.
Fentanyl Fathers is a nonprofit organization founded in 2022 led by a group of parents who have experienced the devastating loss of their own children due to opioid-related deaths. Their mission is to protect young lives and spare other parents the heartbreak of losing a child by educating students about the dangers of fentanyl and the steps needed to recognize and respond to an overdose.
“We're grateful to our friends at [Detroit Catholic Central] for the privilege to speak to their amazing students about the dangers of counterfeit pills today. If we changed even one student's mind to never take a pill not prescribed by his doctor, or from his pharmacist, [then it is] mission accomplished," Fentanyl Fathers posted on their social media page.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, making it highly addictive and prone to misuse. According to one study, overdose deaths among high-school-aged users increased by 114% from 2019 to 2021. Among this percentage, fentanyl was responsible for 77% of those deaths.
“Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered, according to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). It is in every single community. Anyone misusing or abusing opiates and other drugs is at risk for a deadly encounter. It is important to have these conversations with our children and our community. They need to know how they could potentially be exposed to fentanyl, the dangers of opioid abuse and misuse, and how to identify the symptoms of an opioid overdose,” stated Catholic Central’s Registered Nurse Laura Helm.
“Everyone should know how to safely administer Narcan (naloxone) to reverse the effects of opioids. If you would like to learn more about how to talk to your children and resources to educate your family, you can go to operationprevention.com. Treatment Centers can also be found through samhsa.gov and oaklandchn.org,” Nurse Laura Helm continued.
Properly disposing of unused prescription medications can also help prevent the misuse of opioids. On Saturday, October 28th, Catholic Central Freshman Jon Creen hosted a Drug Take Back Event along with the help of Nurse Laura Helm for community members to drop off unused or expired medications.
For more information on Fentanyl Fathers, please visit their website at Find Charities to Donate to - Fentanylfathers.org.