Fentanyl in Schools: The Real Deal or Just Being Sensationalized Through the Media?  

Written by: The Tall Cop, Officer Jermaine Galloway 

To give an immediate answer to this question, it is the real deal and is increasing nationwide. To begin, let's highlight some of the fentanyl trends we are seeing on our streets and in our schools.  

As we can say for any drug, everyone is NOT dealing with a significant increase of fentanyl in their schools but many are. From the articles listed at the bottom of the newsletter (February 2023), to the information that has been shared with me during conversation, and client info requests, we are seeing a drastic increase in the use of fentanyl in schools. As you know I train hundreds of school districts annually between conferences, multi-district training and specific school district training.  I have had MANY conversations with school administrators, SRO’s and local health department representatives who have highlighted fentanyl overdoses in their schools. High schools tend to be most common. Teens across the country are gaining more and more access to different substances and we are seeing different strands of these drugs every day. Even more recently, marijuana laced fentanyl in some high schools have been reported. But that doesn’t mean middle or even elementary schools will not see an increase. Everyday I am seeing stories pop up of kids being exposed to fentanyl.   

“Fentanyl is a human-made opioid used to treat severe pain. It’s 50 to a 100 times stronger than morphine”(Benisek). We are seeing fentanyl in various different forms including powder, liquid/intravenous, candy, and laced onto other drugs.   Furthermore, we are coming across Fentanyl that could appear to look like oxy pills known in schools as fake M30 tablets, perc 30’s, blues, dirty 30’s, etc.  These are pills manufactured at a street level that are made to look like Oxy.  Other forms to pay attention to are fake Xanax bars aka “bars”or “school buses”, fake ecstasy pills, etc.  

Communities, school districts in rural and large areas, along with parents are going to need to increase their education on fentanyl and other dangerous drugs in order to prevent the rising numbers of students using and experimenting with these various substances. Local and state policy alone cannot curve the trend we are seeing today. Educating people will only motivate the efforts for change in this chronic issue. As we focus this article on fentanyl, please keep in mind other opioids, methamphetamine, vapes and benzodiazepines are also trending at high level levels in various communities.  

Finally, for those who just joined my newsletter please also read last month's newsletter on Xylazine which has been directly associated with fentanyl, and  for further information on Xylazine you can request my Tall Cop handout/drug bulletin.  

Remember, You Can't Stop What You Don't Know!