FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Fresno County law enforcement agencies are warning parents about the dangers of Fentanyl following an increase in overdoses, especially among teenagers and young adults.
“It’s very important for parents who think their children aren’t involved in this to take a good look,” said Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.
Smittcamp says teens are connecting with drug dealers on social media apps like Snapchat and buying drugs unknowingly laced with Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a cheap synthetic opioid estimated to be 50 to 100 times stronger than Morphine, and up to 50 times stronger than Heroin. A Fentanyl dose the size of two grains of salt is likely fatal.
Smittcamp is working with Fresno County school districts to help spread the word to parents who may not be aware of the dangers.
“You don’t deserve to die as an adolescent when you make a bad mistake, you deserve the have a life and know what you are getting into and that’s really the injustice in this for me as a mother and as a prosecutor who was born and raised here. I hate to see this happening in our community,” said Smittcamp.
Flindt Andersen is the founder of PAIN (Parents and Addicts In Need). He says their non-profit has been made aware of 16 local overdoses in the last 6 months. The opioid crisis has been fueled by the pandemic, with many people staying home and under stress. Anderson says the crisis is no longer just in the streets, but in homes.
“They are literally dying with their headphones on, Xbox on, eyes rolled back in their head, and foam coming out of their mouth,” said Andersen.
He urges parents to check in with their children and get involved in their social media before it’s too late.
“It’s going to take all of us to come to a realization that our kids are dying. Death is permanent. They aren’t going to come back,” said Andersen.