The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

Are Fentanyl assemblies doing enough to educate students?

Amia Sawyer
The presentation slide you see when you walk into the assembly

West Covina High School (WCUSD) held an assembly on Oct. 13 to all grades on campus. Many districts, WCUSD one of them, have felt that it is important to give their students a lesson directly towards fentanyl as people have gained wider access to the opioid. Overdoses have increased tremendously as in 2020 the amount of overdoses due to fentanyl was 50 percent doubling the amount prior to COVID-19. Local high schools such as Nogales and El Camino experienced student deaths from overdose. Administration found it vital to be discussed as these fentanyl related deaths were close to West Covina. 

Compared to previous years, administration changed how they were presenting their lesson to students. Now splitting up grade levels by different periods in the day, and separating the grade levels into four sections: the gym, cafeteria, media center, and the MPR room, students were able to pay more attention and effectively process the material. 

The amount of fentanyl it takes for someone to overdose compared to a penny. (Drug Enforcement Administration)

Senior Isaiah Moreno shared his thoughts on the assembly distribution after experiencing the presentation.

¨In smaller groups it was easier to pay attention to the lesson because in bigger groups there are more people talking,¨ said senior Isaiah Moreno.  

High school is where teenagers are developing amongst their peers and exploring all their different interests. Drugs happen to be one of the many things many teenagers decide to explore. The problem to teenagers being curious about drugs is that fentanyl has increased to the point that when taking almost any drug people are at risk of ingesting fentanyl. 

A 13 minute video is one of the main parts of the presentation. It showcases grieving parents who have had children pass away from fentanyl overdoses purely by accident. Parents gave details into how they found their children dead after they had taken one pill laced with fentanyl that ended their life in seconds. Showing these tragedies gives students a deeper insight on how dangerous and how much overdoses affect loved ones. This is a way showing students that if they are doing drugs how much it would hurt people who care deeply for them. 

An emphasized point in the presentation was how little it takes to overdose on fentanyl, with it being, according to the video in the presentation, 50-100 times stronger than any other drug out there. An important thing was that taking any drug could put people at the risk of dying, however it takes an extremely small amount to overdose on fentanyl. 

Fentanyl can come in many different forms, liquid, pill, or powder.  (Drug enforcement administration)

¨One thing that will stick with me is that there are so many forms of fentanyl that you can take and the risk of how dangerous it is and how easy access it is,¨ said senior Vincent Patini. 

Students who had attended the fentanyl assembly in previous years found the assembly  repetitive and overused. After hearing the exact same stories every year the message is still touching but for some not as effective. Some suggest changing the video with the same kind of concept to give a new fresh outlook on the subject for students who have seen the video year after year. 

¨If anything they could improve it by doing a different presentation cause I noticed it was exactly the same as last year,¨ said senior Jenelle Zanger. 

Teenagers need to be aware of anything they are taking nowadays because one choice, one idea can lead to someone accidentally overdosing. If schools truly want to express the dangers of fentanyl to students, the message cannot become stale and needs to be expressed in a way that’s truly impactful.

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