Oregon has lost several students to fentanyl in the last few years. Linked below are fact sheets to help educate students, parents and the community about the dangers of fake pills made from deadly fentanyl.
Fentanyl being disguised as candy
Fentanyl is currently very common in our community; it is a powerful synthetic opioid that is like morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl is odorless, tasteless and colorless. Young people think they are taking “blues,” OxyContin or Xanax, but they are often taking pills laced with fentanyl. Recently, law enforcement agencies have also warned about the danger of fentanyl being disguised as candy, specifically targeted to be sold to children.
Talking to your student is the best prevention
The best prevention is talking to your student about never taking any medication that doesn’t come from their doctor. This includes never taking pills, even from friends. This is a conversation that can literally save your child’s life.
One pill has the potential to be deadly.
Other prevention strategies
One of the best ways to protect youth from substances is by having open communication and educating them on the risks of substance use. Listening to them without judging is a critical tool you can provide as their trusted adult.
Look for changes in behavior
Look out for changes in behavior, such as irregular eating or sleeping patterns, low energy, general signs of depression or anxiety, unusual irritability, slipping grades, lack of interest in activities they love, and even drastic clothing style changes. Trust your instincts. If you notice a change, ask about it.
Monitor social media
Talk to your child and monitor their social media use. The online environment provides platforms for people to sell substances. Substances can be offered by someone met online.
This year’s Awesome 3000 T-shirts will feature original artwork drawn by Sprague High School sophomore Kate Swenson.
Kate’s artwork features SKEF mascot, Geo crossing the start line to begin the race leaving the text “Awesome 3000” in his dust. Representatives of the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation recognized her at an all-school assembly on Friday, January 31, 2020.
Each year the Foundation invites young artists in the Salem-Keizer Public Schools to come up with a design for the Awesome 3000 fun run held the first Saturday in May.
Kate has been interested in art since she was a small child and really enjoys creating with colored pencils. While she has never run in the Awesome 3000, Kate is no stranger to the Awesome Art Contest having placed second in last year’s competition. She looks forward to studying art after high school and seeing whether it leads her to a career, or if she keeps it as a hobby.
In addition to seeing her artwork on 5,000 t-shirts and thousands of registration forms, posters and more, Kate received a check for $100. She also earned a $250 contribution to the Sprague High School art department.
The second-place design came from an eighth-grader at Claggett Creek Middle School and the third-place design came from Sprague High School senior Patricia Ewing.
Kelly Carlisle, the executive director at SKEF says, “All the entries captured the energy and spirit of the event and kudos to all of the students who shared their artwork with us.”
Kate Swenson will be onsite at the Awesome 3000 to sign T-shirts, posters and programs featuring her artwork.
This year’s Awesome 3000 is May 2. Registration will open online on SKEF’s website on March 15. Paper forms will be available at SKEF, 223 Commercial St NE, or in school offices beginning Monday, March 30. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities also can be found on the foundation’s website
Sprague High School and Salem-Keizer Public Schools promote equal opportunity for all individuals without regard to age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion or creed, sex or gender, sexual orientation, or veteran status. For more information, view Salem-Keizer’s Nondiscrimination / Title IX policy.