The Answer to the Fentanyl Crisis – Intercessors for America

This article details that countless teenagers are dying from preventable fentanyl overdoses. Download the prayer guide and cry out to God for deliverance for the nation’s children.

From Politico. Fentanyl’s toll now includes a growing number of children.

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Desperate to keep the deadly synthetic opioid out of the hands of kids, Texas lawmakers enacted Tucker’s Law this summer to launch an education campaign about its dangers in middle and high schools.

A world away politically, California lawmakers are considering Melanie’s Law, which would require schools to tackle opioid overdoses in their safety plans. …

States enacted more than 100 laws during their 2023 legislative sessions seeking to raise awareness, increase penalties for dealers and prevent overdoses. Some focus on the danger the drug poses to young people.

Mississippi enacted a bill in March mandating a media campaign aimed at youth. California lawmakers are also considering requiring the state health department to make an overdose reversal drug available in schools. The bill cites 224 teens that died in California in 2021.

Since Congress passed landmark opioid-fighting legislation in 2018, the number of fatal overdoses has shot up by 64 percent, from about 67,000 to nearly 110,000 last year. At least 1,800 teens died between July 2019 and December 2021 from taking fentanyl, a 182 percent increase compared to the previous period, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. …

“There’s not enough prevention in schools. Resources are lacking for all types of substance use,” said Sara Lowry, a middle school social worker in northern Virginia whose 17-year-old son, Aiden, died of a fentanyl overdose in December.

Tucker’s Law will provide for fentanyl education for children in grades 6 to 12 across Texas. The bill was a result of advocacy by Texas Against Fentanyl, a nonprofit founded by Stefanie Turner, whose 19-year-old son Tucker died in 2021 from a fentanyl overdose.

Melanie’s Law, making its way through the California legislature, is named after Melanie Ramos, a 15-year-old who died from a suspected fentanyl overdose last September at a Hollywood high school.

“What we all know is that the school-age demographic is getting hit the hardest with this; it’s causing one in five youth deaths in California right now,” said Democratic state Sen. Dave Cortese, the bill’s sponsor.

In Congress, two Coloradoans in the House, Republican Doug Lamborn and Democrat Joe Neguse, introduced in July their Protecting Kids from Fentanyl Act. It would permit states to use money from a $146 million federal grant to educate children and provide training and the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone to school employees. …

Parents and public health experts say increasing rates of mental illness in children, combined with the ease with which kids can buy pills online, is proving deadly. They say more needs to be done, including increasing the number of facilities and health care professionals who can treat teenagers with opioid use disorder since the few that exist are overwhelmed by demand. …

Lockdowns and social media

Lowry blames school closures for tipping her son into addiction.

Aiden had long dealt with anxiety and was being treated for it when schools closed due to the Covid pandemic in 2020. He started vaping and using marijuana to deal with the isolation and by late 2021 was taking Percocet, the brand name for the opioid oxycodone, Lowry recounted.

He bought his first drugs on Snapchat. Soon he was unwittingly taking fentanyl, she said. Testing revealed that the Percocet was laced with the synthetic opioid. …

The pandemic brought a worsening youth mental health crisis that policymakers are only beginning to grapple with. …

More than 40 percent of high school students responding to a 2021 CDC survey said they felt so sad or hopeless they could not engage in their regular activities for at least two weeks during the previous year.

Looking for causes, researchers have cited the growing use of social media, limited access to mental health care and broader stressors. …

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(Excerpt from Politico. Photo Credit: