Monday, March 6, 2023 - As the fentanyl and opioid crisis continues to increase in severity, drug prevention and education are needed in local schools more than ever before.
Over the past two weeks, the Sallisaw NOW Coalition (SNC), alongside community partners including the District Attorney’s office for District 27, have been collaborating on ways to inform youth on the dangers lurking.
The group of local influencers decided to reach out to public schools in Sequoyah County to address the topic with students in grades 5th–12th through one-time presentations held during school assemblies. The purpose of the assemblies is to generate awareness regarding opioids and fentanyl by providing students with the ugly truth of drug use.
District Attorney (DA) for District 27 Jack Thorp attended the presentation at Roland High School alongside investigator John Owens and officers from the Roland Police Department.
During the presentation, Thorp explained that opioid-related deaths are the leading cause of death among those 15–45 years old in the US.
"This is one of the scariest situations I have ever seen in my 24 years of experience. I will go anywhere and talk to anyone about the dangers of fentanyl. It is a serious danger to our communities, and it's my number one priority to do everything I can to eradicate it from the four counties I serve," Thorp stated.
In addition, Thorp was invited to join a podcast called "Coal Mine" last Friday at Sallisaw High School. The podcast is broadcast by students Sadie Caughman and Ben Bell, who decided it was time to address the seriousness of the opioid epidemic among their peers.
SNC board member Lindsie Dyer stated "I feel like I can speak for everyone involved when I say how grateful we are for our DA’s passion during this fight we are battling. Any day your DA joins in to help save the lives of others is a good day.”
If you would like to schedule a presentation for your group, school, or organization, feel free to contact the Sallisaw NOW Coalition at 918-208-0733.
Lindsie Dyer, Staff Writer
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