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Cleveland ISD fighting drug epidemic following overdoses

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CLEVELAND – Fentanyl continues to be an epidemic hitting America, and a recent scare has brought the issue to Cleveland ISD following recent overdoses with Percocet pills that may have been laced with the deadly drug.

In a press release by the district, CISD stresses the importance of not using unprescribed medications, especially those from “unofficial sources.”

“ Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid that can be fatal even in small doses,” said Cleveland ISD Superintendent Stephen Mc-Canless. “Unfortunately, drug dealers have been known to mix fentanyl with other substances, such as counterfeit prescription drugs like Percocet, without knowledge of the user.”

The district is partnering with local law enforcement, emergency management, and health authorities to combat the crisis. All Cleveland ISD campuses and district officers carry Narcan, which can help reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose if given promptly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC), over one hundred people die daily from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Fentanyl can be snorted, injected, smoked, or taken orally by pill or tablet. The drug can have effects on the body, such as relaxation, pain relief, sedation and vomiting.

Overdose effects will be shown as cold and clammy skin, coma, cyanosis, and respiratory failure, leading to death.

Fentanyl - related deaths in Texas had increased from 2018-2022, according to the Texas Department of State Health and Services, with projections shown to increase in 2023.

Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claimed that Texas had captured enough fentanyl- laced drugs to kill every child in the United States, prompting state lawmakers to pass several laws in that fight.

One of those laws will allow prosecutors to seek a murder charge for those who make or sell the drug.

“ Remember, the safety and well-being of our children and community is a collective responsibility,” said McCanless. “ We must work together to address this issue and protect the lives of our loved ones.”