More Trick than Treat: Fentanyl overdoses on the rise


Credit: American Photo Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

Sophia Lopez, Features Editor

   It just takes two milligrams, the size of 10-15 salt grains, to fatally overdose on the drug fentanyl. 

   In 2022 alone, more than 75,000 Americans died from overdose in the opioids (pain relief) category, mainly from fentanyl (Government Source). Out of these deaths, 6,150 occurred in Florida (Florida Health). According to the CDC, even inhaling or touching a certain quantity of fentanyl can be fatal (CDC). 

   The fentanyl case of Renee Parsons this past July sparked chaos nationwide, demonstrating a citizen who faced imminent danger in an unexpected way. All it took was Parsons picking up a stray dollar bill on the floor at a McDonald’s in Tennessee. Less than 10 minutes later, her body underwent a complete numbness, rendering her unable to respond or even breathe. Although her case ended with her full recovery, this unwanted exposure to harmful substances marked an ominous turn in the fight to control the drugs market.  New doors have been opening for the unaware to dangerously overdose. 

   As Halloween approached and the manufacturing of candy was pushed to its maximum, the drug market seized the opportunity, disguising pressed quantities of fentanyl in rainbow colored tablets, specifically inside bright colored packages, intended to pass as normal candy. Activities like trick or treating or even picking up money from the floor show how much blind trust there is between strangers, coming into contact with new items that aren’t yours. (ABC News)

   At Pines Charter,  Red Ribbon Week came at an especially crucial time this year, meant to shed light on the incoming updates, and most importantly, spread awareness through participation.  Senior Diana Angel wore her mismatched socks, an interactive activity that “was a lot of fun explaining to fellow classmates why [she] was wearing them.” Small activities like these uplift our student body towards a common cause. 

   After the week was over, Sophomore Karina Garcia reflected on progress made so far. “I’m proud of our efforts as a society on the progress of educating the general public and our teens on the repercussions that even a single “pill” may have,” she states. “I do wish we continue to not only say words, but continue with action.” 

   As Drug Awareness month came to a close, it’s crucial to understand the news surrounding us, and with the right information, push forward.