San Luis High School hosted a community forum last week for parents and community members to address the topic of fentanyl use among local youths.
Community leaders from law enforcement, social service organizations and counseling services came together Thursday night to continue the dialogue over how the drug has seen an increase in use throughout Yuma County. Two recent deaths have been tied to the drug along with 15 cases of overdoses in San Luis, officials said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever. Most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose and death are linked to illegally made fentanyl. It is sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect and is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product to increase its euphoric effects.
San Luis High principal Lucky Arvizo said educating students, teachers and parents about the issue is making a difference. Some have come forward to identify users and 13 arrests have been made for fentanyl possession.
“It’s a community effort," Arvizo told KAWC. "We appreciate all the assistance we get from the outside community, from experts in combating this fentanyl issue that’s currently among us. Anytime we get community support, it’s going to help tremendously and that is what we want to get out of this community forum.”
The forum was organized by the Somerton-based social services organization Campesinos Sin Fronteras.