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SAN JOSE, CA – To increase awareness about the dangers of fentanyl, the Santa Clara County Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution at its May 4 meeting recognizing May 10 as National Fentanyl Awareness Day.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid typically prescribed to treat severe pain. These pills have become increasingly accessible through social media and e-commerce platforms, making them available to youth.
In 2020, more than 93,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. were from fentanyl or another synthetic opioid, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Drug-induced deaths among people between the ages 15 to 35 have increased over the last 20 years. Fentanyl-involved deaths are the fastest growing among youth ages 14 to 23. In Santa Clara County, fentanyl overdose deaths rose from 29 to 90 from 2019 to 2020 and then to 135 deaths in 2021.
“The best tool we can give youth is education so they are encouraged to make safe and healthy decisions,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Ann Dewan. “I urge our community to increase awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. Together, we can prevent fentanyl-related deaths.”
The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a member of a county-wide working group, aiming to educate the diverse communities of Santa Clara County about the dangers the drug can pose, specifically to youth.
Members of the working group include Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County Coroner Dr. Michelle Jordan, parents of youth who have died from a fentanyl overdose, officials from the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department, the Santa Clara County Executive’s Office, and the San Jose Police Department.
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.
For more information about the Santa Clara County Office of Education, please visit www.sccoe.org and follow us @SCCOE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.