The misuse of fentanyl among today’s youth is a growing concern with severe consequences. Research shows that the rate of overdose deaths in youth continues to steadily climb, doubling from 2019 to 2020 and rising 20% further in 2021. This upward trend is alarming. Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, is often prescribed for managing severe pain but has increasingly found its way into the hands of young people for recreational use. Its high potency makes it particularly dangerous, as even small amounts can lead to overdose and death. Intentional instruction in fentanyl awareness can help save lives.
What draws young people to experimentation with drugs such as fentanyl? Many seek the euphoria and relaxation that comes from fentanyl’s opioid effects. Peer pressure, curiosity, and/or attempts to self-medicate can contribute to its use among youth. The illicit market often mixes fentanyl with other substances, increasing the risk of accidental overdose. Experimentation by youth can have devastating consequences – more than 80% of teen overdose deaths in 2021 involved fentanyl.
It is clear that schools need to step in to help mitigate this dangerous trend. Educators play a crucial role in raising awareness about the dangers of fentanyl, and they must be equipped with a curriculum that effectively communicates the dangers of fentanyl.
Navigate360’s Mental Health & Prevention Curriculum – New Fentanyl Awareness Courses
For schools that use Navigate360’s Mental Health & Prevention curriculum, we have developed a seven-course series designed to educate students in grades 6-12 about fentanyl. These lessons provide comprehensive information that covers the latest educational mandates regarding fentanyl.
Through these courses, students will learn about the dangers of this synthetic opioid, its physical and psychological effects, the short-term and long-term impacts of its use, and how to protect themselves from it. The courses also allow students to explore the role that peer influence plays in experimentation with drug use, providing them with strategies for refusal, the ability to recognize use and overdose, and where and how to get help. Lessons deliver age-appropriate content and include interactivity using live teen actors describing scenarios they have faced involving fentanyl.
Course titles for this series include:
- Fentanyl Awareness: Fentanyl Facts (G6)
- Fentanyl Awareness: Don’t Take the Risk (G7)
- Fentanyl Awareness: The Dangers of Fentanyl (G8)
- Fentanyl Awareness: The Truth About Fentanyl (G9)
- Fentanyl Awareness: Fentanyl Unmasked (G10)
- Fentanyl Awareness: One Pill Can Kill (G11)
- Fentanyl Awareness: What You Need to Know (G12)
Fentanyl is the number one killer of Americans ages 18-45, and according to the DEA, it is the deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered. Providing youth with knowledge and tools about this issue is critical to saving lives.
Meeting Texas Health Education Mandates
In 2023, the state of Texas mandated education about fentanyl and drug abuse prevention and awareness for students in grades 6-12. This mandate went into effect at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year.
Navigate360’s Fentanyl Awareness courses are aligned to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), illustrating our commitment to providing relevant substance abuse coverage in the face of updated and changing mandates.
Navigate360 is Your Partner in Substance Abuse & Prevention Education
As part of our ongoing commitment to student mental health and prevention education, Navigate360 continues to develop courses such as our Fentanyl Awareness courses. Its inclusion in our Mental Health & Prevention curriculum enables schools to stay on top of critical issues facing their students. We continue to provide and encourage a sense of well-being for school communities across the country through our offerings.
Want to see what our Fentanyl Awareness courses look like? Check out our promotional video: