In 2021, over 82,000 people died in the United States from opioids and 80% involved fentanyl. Two milligrams of fentanyl is enough to kill a person. A sugar packet of fentanyl could kill 2,000 people.
The proliferation of fentanyl can be attributed to two main factors:
The current environment is dangerous for everyone; when coupled with peer pressure in schools, the danger is elevated to crisis status. To help provide students with the information they need to stay safe, we have to speak the truth and confront the realities. Our philosophy is straightforward and simple: We believe that students who are educated about the dangers of fentanyl (or other subjects) in a manner that is relevant to them, will make better choices when faced with crucial decisions.
If someone offers you a pill at a party, what do you do? Where is it from? Is it pharmaceutical or fake? Can you tell if there is fentanyl present? Do you know that one bad pill can kill?
To be effective, we must utilize new approaches that focus on the needs of students, not declarations from adults. “Just say NO” is a directive that doesn’t work. Students don’t like being told what to do without rhyme or reason. Education requires honesty, sincerity, and persuasion–not dictates.
“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” — Rudyard Kipling
Starting on November 1, 2021, we will begin an innovative school project in the TEAL Center at Newark Tech High School in Newark, N.J. Our goal is for the students to produce a Public Service Announcement (PSA) telling the story of the dangers of fentanyl. It will be student-written, student-directed, student-edited and student-approved. It will be called “One Pill Can Kill.”
We will utilize storytelling skills and techniques to teach the dangers of opioids. Stories–rather than pronouncements or warnings–are invaluable in teaching. Knowing how to tell stories is invaluable in living.