Community officials hold forum in Tempe on dangers of fentanyl
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Four years ago, Shari Dukes lost her son Ethan to an accidental fentanyl overdose. He was just 16 years old with dreams and aspirations. Dukes’ purpose now is to share her son’s story to save other teens from dying. “He went to bed saying ‘mom I am going to get a good nights sleep, love you, see you in the morning’ and in the morning he was dead. That is how quick it can happen,” said Dukes.
A recent study showed a 5,000% increase in fentanyl deaths in Maricopa County since 2015. Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell and a panel of experts took the stage at McClintock High School for a community forum educating families on the dangers of fentanyl. The synthetic drug is 50 times stronger than heroin. “It is pure poison, it is deadly poisonous substance,” said Stephanie Siete. “It is getting worse. I am afraid to see what the data looks like next year.”
Experts said the most common form of fentanyl is a blue pill, but it can be in powder form too and cut into any drug. Oftentimes, teens don’t know the drug they are taking is laced with fentanyl and deadly. The biggest takeaway from the night is having open and honest conversations with one another. “Parents need to know that this is truly something that can happen. It is not five pills, 10 pills, it is one pill. It is one decision of a young person who is navigating the world,” said Dukes.
For more information and resources on how to talk to teens about the dangers of fentanyl, click here.
Copyright 2023 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.