In 2019, Trevor, an 18-year-old recent graduate of a high school in my district, died in his dorm room after taking a fake pill laced with fentanyl. I didn’t know Trevor personally, but, as the editor of my high school’s student paper, The Pitch, I’ve helped share his story.
I learned about the fentanyl crisis from my journalism teacher. I knew immediately that we needed to publish an article about it. The fact that a single pill can kill you is terrifying. I was also surprised to learn how prevalent the problem is in my community. Trevor was just one of several kids from my area who have died from a fentanyl overdose in recent years. My peers and I have been taught about the effects of drugs since middle school, but I believe there’s not nearly enough awareness about counterfeit pills.
For my article, I spoke with the parents of teens who had lost their lives to fentanyl. I can’t fathom these parents’ pain at losing their kids. They shared their stories because they want the truth to come out about this deadly drug.
There can be a stigma around drug use and addiction that makes people reluctant to talk about it, but for the parents I spoke to, saving lives is the most important thing. My piece became the top trending story on my paper’s website, which makes me think teens and adults are eager for this information.
In writing my article, I learned that when it comes to fentanyl and counterfeit pills, there’s no room to experiment or get high safely. I hope my article brings visibility to the problem and encourages my peers to think twice before buying pills online.
(To read Henry's article, click here.)