SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS 5) -- One school principal is not wasting any time talking to her students about drugs after a Notre Dame Prep student nearly died when he overdosed on a fentanyl-laced pill he got from a classmate.

[THAT STORY: Notre Dame Preparatory High School student arrested after drug overdose]

Middle school opioids

Off-duty Scottsdale police officers talked to the older students about the dangers of drugs.

Linda McDermott invited off-duty Scottsdale police officers to El Dorado Private School Tuesday morning to discuss the dangers of drugs with 70 of her fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

McDermott wanted to take a proactive approach to the serious topic.

She said some of her students have siblings at Notre Dame Prep. She felt it was important to talk to them about what they could be offered now or later when they get to high school.

Middle school opioids

"You can never talk enough to your children," Linda McDermott, the principal at El Dorado Private School, said.

"I want to make sure that my students are well-prepared for what's out there in the world and not to accept anything from strangers, even friends sometimes," she said.

She made sure her students know that drugs can come in all kinds of forms, many of which appear harmless.

"Drugs don't always come in the form of pills. They can come in things that you eat like brownies or cookies or gummy bears -- all kinds of different things," she explained to the students.

She doesn't think kids can be too young to learn about the harmful, potentially deadly, effects of drugs. She also said it shouldn't just be the school or police talking to them about it. She encourages parents to be informed.

"You can never talk enough to your children," she said.

McDermott, who co-founded El Dorado with her mother in 1970, said she plans to schedule another age-appropriate drug talk with her first- through fourth-graders.

Located in the Grayhawk community, El Dorado serves students from preschool through eighth grade.


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