'Dallas Fights Fentanyl' community forum held to address dangers of fentanyl, opioids in schools

Parents, community members, and Dallas ISD staff were invited to the first fentanyl bilingual forum at Townview Center to discuss the dangers of opioids and fentanyl.

Natalie Vazquez and her mom spent their Saturday morning listening to how the deadly drug fentanyl is spreading through schools and how to stop it. 

"She’s really worried for me and my brother’s safety," the Townview Center freshman said.

The city of Dallas partnered with Dallas ISD to allow dialogue with the Dallas Police Department, Dallas DEA, Dallas Fire-Rescue, and other resources.

"You have help, and we are here, glad you are here to get the information," said Dr. Tracey Brown, executive director for Dallas ISD mental health services.

Parents like Todd Pevehouse want to stay vigilant on any trends or prevention tactics they could take home. 

"Everyone thinks it’s not going to happen to their child, but you never know," he said. "I thought the DEA information was the best because it was so concrete."

Last year in Dallas alone, the DEA said it seized 11.4 million pills in the city. 

DEA agent Eduardo Chavez said, in the last six months, they’ve seen a shift from prescriptions like Xanax and Percocet being laced with fentanyl, to strictly fentanyl multi-colored pills.

"Now, it is just simply these fake pills that are fentanyl," Chavez said.


Fentanyl Crisis: Dallas ISD will allow staff to administer Narcan

All Dallas Independent School District schools will have Narcan available to administer to anyone who overdoses on drugs like fentanyl.

Starting next month, Dallas ISD said it will be stocking Narcan, a prescription medicine used for the treatment of an overdose, for every campus.

"You want to put it in one nostril and squeeze the red button," Jarrod Gilstrap, with Dallas Fire-Rescue, explained on the use of Narcan. 

Dallas ISD said Saturday it hasn’t seen any fentanyl related deaths this year, but added that students have been arrested and expelled, or sent to jail. 

According to Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, fentanyl has killed three middle or high school students in the district, and nearly a dozen have overdosed but survived.


Another Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD student overdoses on fentanyl

On the same day federal authorities announced a fourth arrest related to deadly drug sales in Carrollton last Friday, a student at RL Turner High School became unresponsive after ingesting a pill, requiring a dose of a lifesaving drug called Narcan. That student did survive.

The DEA said most of the overdoses were connected to a drug ring based just blocks from the school. 

Investigators have made three arrests connected to suspected drug ring, and a fourth suspect was arrested after authorities said he tried to fill the fentanyl supply gap after the initial arrests.


Carrollton man charged after allegedly using arrest of fentanyl suspects to advertise his own drugs

A Carrollton man is facing federal charges after investigators say he used the arrest of two alleged drug traffickers to promote the sale of his own drugs.

Saturday, law enforcement also emphasized how children can be baited through social media and how parents can monitor their use. 

Vazquez attests to the accessibility online. 

The teen said she learned key refusal skills for the future on Saturday.

"How to say I’m good, I don’t want anyway," she said. "I did see that and I took that. People don’t know what to do. They don’t want to feel intimated or not seem cool because they don’t want to take it."