The Fentanyl Epidemic


Valentina Magalhaes

Red ribbons were displayed around the CCHS campus in support of Red Ribbon Week.

One choice. One pill. One chance.

Schools all around the country celebrate Red Ribbon Week, a week dedicated to educating students on the effects of drug use. Throughout the week, students were surrounded by love and support, through a petting zoo, therapy dogs, and a school wide basketball game. On Thursday, Cathedral Catholic students watched an educational video outlining the dangers of fentanyl use.

In this seemingly short 20 minute video, viewers listened to in-depth personal anecdotes from parents who lost a child due to fentanyl overdose. Through four emotional stories, Cathedral students learned shocking statistics regarding fentanyl overdose.

2020 was recorded as the deadliest year for drug abuse nationwide. In 2013, only 3% of the population had died from fentanyl overdose, now over 50% of drug users have died from fentanyl. The increase in fentanyl overdose deaths points to the rising epidemic.

Specialists in the video testified that fentanyl is 100 times the strength of morphine, resulting in 2 mg of fentanyl being enough to kill users. Not only is a single grain enough to stop the respiratory system, but the drug is also tasteless and odorless. This allows fentanyl to be easily mistaken for other less potent drugs, making it significantly more dangerous, a silent killer.

The majority of those who die from fentanyl overdose were seeking prescription drugs for a short term fix, but drug dealers are now selling fake drugs laced with fentanyl. Those who accidentally overdose on fentanyl are not given a second chance, they can never take back the choice they made.

Now, more than ever, young students are at risk for ingesting fentanyl as drug sales are taking control over social media. Social media is allowing drug sales to have an even greater reach, and making it easier for teens and young adults to get ahold of drugs.

Children are dying, we are dying. Please don’t think this won’t happen to you.