Fentanyl scares the world

Many high schools across the country have been experiencing fentanyl-related problems; luckily, CI isn’t one. 

According to the National Institute on Health, fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Overdoses of fentanyl can often prove fatal.

Here at Channel Islands High School, school nurse Ms. Stacie Lueg says, “If we ever encounter such a problem we have Naloxone in the school.”

Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.

Fentanyl can  be added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. According to the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration,  fentanyl provides an intense, short-term high, temporary feelings of euphoria, slowed respiration and reduced blood pressure, nausea, fainting, seizures, and even death. 

Ms. Lueg  said, “Should we have a problem on our campus, we are able to deal with it now.” 

Lueg says she thinks people take fentanyl because it is “a super strong pain killer.” It is also an opioid derivative which means it gives the same feelings as an opioid. 

“It depends how much you take,” Lueg  says when asked about how dangerous Fentanyl is. “We have such a big problem because of how addictive all opioids are.” 

Fentanyl is only safe when prescribed, Lueg says.

“It’s not regulated if it’s made on the street,” Lueg says when asked why fentanyl is such a big problem in schools. “It takes very little fentanyl for an overdose.” Which is why many deaths occur. Lueg stated, “It’s a very scary drug.”

Ms. Fatima Plascencia, a health teacher here at Channel Islands, talks to her students about how “Fentanyl comes in many shapes and sizes.” For example “pills, powders, blocks, and it can look like candy too.”

“Rainbow fentanyl is currently trending,” she said. It is a candy but it’s both tasteless and odorless. 

The California Department of Public health reports, “In 2021 there were 223 fentanyl related overdose deaths, between the ages of 15-24.”

In Plascencia’s class, they talk about “the dangers of fentanyl, how it looks, both the pill and powder form.”

“With only 2 milligrams of fentanyl, it can be deadly,” she said.

They also talk about how fentanyl can be laced in meth and heroin. 

“We talk about signs to look for just in case someone is overdosing, and about Naloxone and Narcan,” she added. “(Narcan) is something that somebody can use just in case they think someone is overdosing.” 

“Most people don’t actually realize that they are consuming something that strong.” Plascencia says. 

Plascencia also says that “It’s the single most deadliest drug threat  our nation has ever encountered.”

Plascencia was asked about why she thinks people take Fentanyl and she said, “People most likely turn to drugs to cope with mental health.”

Finally, Plascencia ends with, “Spread awareness to stop this uprising in fentanyl cases.”