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Fentanyl Fundamentals There are two types of fentanyl— pharmaceutical and illicitly manufactured. Both are synthetic, but the latter is what 2 milligrams of fentanyl is considered a deadly dose
Overdose deaths on the rise About 100 people died from a fentanyl-related overdose in Harris County in 2019, but overdose deaths have skyrocketed each year since. An estimated 568 died in 2022.
controlled substances in Cy-Fair ISD
0 100 200 300 400 500 600
484 fentanyl-related deaths in 2021
Cy-Fair ISD saw a sharp increase in discipline reports last year involving students possessing, using or distributing drugs. DRUGRELATED DISCIPLINE REPORTS
SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, HOUSTON HIGH INTENSITY DRUG TRAFFICKING AREASCOMMUNITY IMPACT
accounts for most overdoses and deaths.
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
able to inform her son about the dan- gers, she thinks he may still
life-threatening risks to anyone who uses a chemical substance. Many people are not aware they are taking fentanyl and would not take it if they were aware of its presence,” Mike Lee, chief deputy of the Harris County Sheri’s Oce, said in a comment for the House Committee on Public Health hearing March 13. How we got here The DEA seized more than 50 mil- lion fake pills and 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder in 2022, which Mil- gram said amounts to enough lethal doses for the entire U.S. population. Mexico-based drug cartels pur- chase precursor chemicals from China to mass produce fentanyl, which is pressed into fake prescription pills, Milgram said. Those pills cost about 10 cents per pill to make and are then brought into the U.S. and distributed for about $10-$30 per pill.
The district’s enrollment declined in
464 2016-17 477 2015-16
be alive. Fentanyl is the leading cause of death in the 18-45 age group nation- ally, and it kills one person every nine minutes, according to data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary data from the Houston High Intensity Drug Traf- cking Areas shows Harris County had 568 fentanyl-related deaths in 2022, up 92% from 2020. The HIDTA program was established by Congress in 1988 to assist law enforcement agencies in addressing drug threats regionally. The CDC states pharmaceutical fen- tanyl is a synthetic opioid that may be prescribed for pain treatment and is 50-100 times more potent than mor- phine. While this form of fentanyl may be abused, most fentanyl-related deaths in the U.S. can be tied to ille- gally made fentanyl, which is sold through illegal drug markets. “Drug trackers are also ooding our communities with fentanyl dis- guised in the form of fake prescrip- tion pills,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram testied before the U.S. Sen- ate Committee on Foreign Relations on Feb. 15. “These fake pills are made and marketed by drug trackers to deceive Americans into thinking that they are real, diverted prescription medications. In reality, these fake prescription pills are highly addictive and are potentially deadly.” One of Gov. Greg Abbott’s top seven emergency items this legislative ses- sion was targeting the fentanyl crisis, he said at a State of the State address in February. Bills led this session aimed to decriminalize fentanyl test strips and increase penalties for fentanyl dis- tribution, among other strategies. “Now, the proliferation of illicitly manufactured fentanyl being found in opioid and nonopioid drugs poses
2020-21, and many students attended classes remotely.
SOURCE: TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY'S PEIMS DISCIPLINE DATACOMMUNITY IMPACT
Prescribed by doctors for severe pain, advanced- stage cancer
aggressive enough.” For several years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cy-Fair ISD aver- aged 550 annual drug-related disci- pline reports. That number shot up to 1,216 in 2021-22, the rst full year back on campuses since, according to disci- pline data reported to the state. Franklin Sampson, CFISD direc- tor of guidance and counseling, said the district’s in-house substance use intervention counselor holds infor- mational events for parents and stu- dents. CFISD students struggling with substance abuse also have access to free telehealth resources. “I know how many drugs these kids are taking in general,” Kim Gillihan said. “And I just want to try to educate people since we weren’t educated.” Abbott announced the launch of a $10 million multimedia campaign to raise awareness about fentanyl at his April 6 “One Pill Kills” summit in Austin. He also said Narcan, an opi- oid overdose reversal medication, would be immediately provided to law enforcement in every county in Texas. Funding for the Narcan distribution and multimedia campaign comes from multiple settlements Texas is receiving from opioid manufacturers and phar- maceutical companies. Combatting the crisis State Rep. Tom Oliverson, RCypress, led House Bill 362 to decriminalize fentanyl test strips.
Applied via a patch
on the skin
Pill-pressing organizations Fentanyl synthesis laboratories Coming into U.S. from:
• China • Mexico
• India • Canada
“It’s a problem we don’t need to have.” U.S. REP. MORGAN LUTTRELL, RWILLIS
SOURCES: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, U.S. DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT WHAT CAN I DO? Scan the QR code for more information on how to access
After campaigning for stricter bor- der control, U.S. Rep. Morgan Luttrell, RWillis, was elected in November to represent the southwest portion of Cy-Fair as well as parts of Montgom- ery, San Jacinto and Polk counties. Citing Houston HIDTA data, he said his district is projected to see 650 fen- tanyl-related deaths this year as drug use becomes more prevalent, espe- cially among youth. “It’s a problem we don’t need to have. … It’s these quiet little sleepy towns like I grew up in—Willis, Con- roe, Cypress, Magnolia, Coldspring— where it lives and it breathes, and these babies are dying,” he said. “And I personally don’t think we’re being
and administer opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan.
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