Loudoun County School Board Recognizes May 9 as National Fentanyl Awareness Day


To increase awareness about the dangers of Fentanyl, the Loudoun County School Board approved a proclamation at its May 9 meeting recognizing May 9 as National Fentanyl Awareness Day.

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) collaborated during this school year with its long-standing and new partners to increase awareness in the community, including Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Leesburg Police Department, Loudoun Medical Group and The Williams Center for Wellness and Recovery. To date, this collaboration offered six Fentanyl awareness events reaching more than 300 community members and parents. Additional events will be held in the upcoming months. 

“Fentanyl has had an impact on students and communities throughout Loudoun County, the state and the nation that will be felt for decades to come. The most valuable tool we can provide the community is education to ensure students and parents hear the same crucial information and are encouraged to make decisions that protect and save lives,” said Dr. Daniel W. Smith, Acting Superintendent. “I urge our community to learn about the dangers of Fentanyl, attend the Fentanyl Awareness Events offered throughout the area and engage in non-judgmental listening with one another that leads with acceptance, genuineness and empathy. Working together, our community can help prevent fentanyl-related abuse, injury and deaths.” 

Opioids are a class of drugs that include legal pain relievers available by prescription (oxycontin, Vicodin, codeine, morphine and others), and illegal drugs like heroin and synthetic opioids like Fentanyl). Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid typically prescribed to treat severe pain and has become increasingly accessible through social media and e-commerce platforms, making the drug available to youth. 

In December 2022, six out of ten fake pressed pills contained potentially lethal doses of Fentanyl. The number of Fentanyl deaths from 2019 to 2021 almost doubled after COVID-19, surpassing the rate of death related to suicide, COVID-19 and car accidents. Should the rate of Fentanyl double again in two years, more than 132,000 people will die in 2023.

Call local law enforcement if you or your student have seen these pills. Speaking up may save someone’s life.

Contact the Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Developmental Services to get help for a friend or loved one struggling with substance abuse.

 

For additional resources, visit our Fentanyl Awareness Information webpage.



Published May 11, 2023