Valley students taking peer-to-peer approach when raising awareness for fentanyl

Mar 21, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 5:37 am

(DEA Photo)...

(DEA Photo)

(DEA Photo)

PHOENIX — A group of Arizona teens are working together to raise awareness of the deadly effects of fentanyl.

Tempe Union High School District students created the ”No Second Chances” campaign to educate their peers on how lethal and accessible fentanyl can be.

“Increase awareness within the schools about resources related to fentanyl if students need help with things,” Cloe Bolen, a senior at McClintock High School, said.

The students have made multiple public service announcements, and information regarding fentanyl gets posted across the school district’s social media accounts and website twice a week as part of the campaign.

“It’s a really big way for students to be able to see it because we know … phones are something that every student pretty much has, so by being able to put this stuff out on social media, it’s kind of like immediate,” Bolen said.

Bolen added they’ve learned this messaging can be more impactful when it’s coming from a fellow student.

“It’s going to be so much different if it comes from a student instead of an adult or a parent and just how much more a student will pay attention to not only a classmate, but someone just closer to their age,” Bolen said.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has also been working to raise awareness about the drug after seeing a 5,000% percent increase in fentanyl-related deaths since 2015.

County Attorney Rachel Mitchell has been holding forums at various high schools in the Valley featuring panels of experts to educate parents and kids about the dangers and signs of fentanyl.

“To talk about what it looks like, how cheap it is, how available it is, why it is so deadly so that parents understand how easy it is for their kids to get it,” Mitchell said.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will host a forum Tuesday at 6 p.m. at McClintock High School. The event is free and open to the public.

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Valley students taking peer-to-peer approach when raising awareness for fentanyl