NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

School District 11 speaks out after student's deadly overdose in December

Pueblo County lists fentanyl and norfentanyl as the 4th most common drug found overdose death
Posted at 10:05 AM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 12:05:09-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — School District 11 says it is doing everything it can "to bring awareness to the problem" after a student's deadly overdose in December 2021.

A Colorado Springs woman, Alexis Nicole Wilkins, appeared in federal court for the first time on Wednesday. She is charges with distributing fentanyl resulting in death, after a girl at Mitchell High School began overdosing during class and eventually passed away at the hospital.

"When I started reading just how dangerous it really is and how it impacts kids, and how they're able to have access to it, and how easy it is to access it really made me start to think, ya know I've got to have this conversation with my own child," said Devra Ashby, Chief Communications Officer for District 11.

The district has launched a social media campaign, "Fake and Fatal", to educate parents on the threat of fentanyl and other opioids. D11 says it has had conversations about upping security, but believe open conversations are more effecting in preventing kids from using substances.

"Ultimately, ya know, high school is high school and sadly these types of situations take place these days. But the more that we're aware of the situation and the more that we're trained on how to address it, we've actually seen more positive outcomes using things like restorative practices."

The Sanctuary Church on the West side of Colorado Springs serves marginalized communities, on top of offering recovery services.

"I really encourage parents to do the hard thing and have that conversation with your kids. Drugs today are nothing like they were back in the 60s and the 70s. They are so much more potent," said Eric Sandres, the Lead Pastor at the the church.

Sandres says preventing drug use in kids starts with figuring out why they want to use them in the first place.

"Is there another way that we can entertain you without the danger? Is there another way that we can help you cope with your pain without the risk? Is there something else going on?"

Sandres also encourages people using any kind of drugs to use fentanyl testing strips, small pieces of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in any batch of drugs.

Fentanyl test strips can be found at many syringe access programs:

_____

Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.