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The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

Fentanyl Spreading Around Fort Worth

Fentanyl+Spreading+Around+Fort+Worth

Governments across the globe are battling against the spread of Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug that is 100 times more potent than morphine, and is used in some medical cases, but in minuscule amounts. If more than 100 micrograms are consumed/administered, it can be lethal. Most lethal cases involve illicit Fentanyl, which is produced in foreign clandestine labs and smuggled into the US through Mexico. Fentanyl is being mixed into other drugs to make the potency stronger. But, if too much is used, it could lead to death. The crisis slowly started in 2014, and then worsened in 2019. In 2022, there were 224 deaths in the Tarrant County area and over 70,000 nationwide due to Fentanyl overdose. Since 2019, at least 672 kids under the age of 14 have been killed due to Fentanyl overdose. Families in Fort Worth have proposed a law that would charge people who dealt Fentanyl that lead to an overdose with murder. On October 6, 2023, Bill 6 passed, creating a new law that states “a person is able to be charged with murder if they supply or distribute Fentanyl, and it leads to a death.” 

Kyle Sexton was 16 in 2020 when he died of an overdose at his family home. He had thought he was taking a pain pill that he had gotten from his friend, but it was actually a fake Percocet laced with Fentanyl. His mother, Stephanie Hellstern, demanded justice for her son. Dozens of parents joined her in the fight to add the new legislation. Governor Abbot signed the law in June and it went into effect in September. This law already exists in 25 states. 

Fort Worth representative, Craig Goldman, a TVS graduate who has spoken at FWCD multiple times, sponsored Bill 6. Now, the penalty for possessing or selling more than four grams of Fentanyl will be a first degree felony with a sentence starting at 10 years and could go to life. Before, this conviction carried a maximum sentence of 20 years. The new law will classify deaths caused by fentanyl as “Fentanyl toxicity” or “Fentanyl poisoning” on the death certificate. Hellstern pushed for this because her son did not die from taking too much of a drug; he died because he unknowingly took a laced pill. Tarrant County officials think that this will make a difference in the Fort Worth area because it will “get the dealers off the streets,” Phil Sorrells, Tarrant County’s criminal district attorney, said in a September article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 

Parents of victims believe this will help keep people accountable. Adolph Alvarez, parents of Abigail Alvarez, who died in 2022 from a Fentanyl overdose, believes that this law will make it clear the type of person the victim was, according the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an August 29 article. Abigail graduated high school in Saginaw and hoped to become an esthetician. She was described as a creative person who never met a stranger and always put others ahead of her. She died in May 2022  in an apartment in Hurst from Fentanyl poisoning. There is still no evidence that she asked for or knowingly took any drugs prior to her overdose. The case is still under investigation.

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Lori McCormack, the nurse at FWCD, worked in the ER for several years before coming to FWCD. When asked about her experience with Fentanyl, she told me how they would use it for anesthesia like when someone was on a ventilator. It was distributed through patches and lollipops. These worked well because Fentanyl is such a potent drug and these methods could distribute it over time. During her time in the ER, she never dealt with Fentanyl overdose. She thinks that it was not as relevant during her time that she was working there. She believes that most students would not willingly use Fentanyl, but what happens when you use someone else’s medication, and it is laced? This happens somewhat often, when fake drugs are produced, like Kyle Sexton’s case. This is why FWCD has such strict policies for students carrying medication. She thinks there has been a huge increase in cases involving Fentanyl. Because during her time there were almost no cases involving Fentanyl, only overdoses involving Opioids.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Mehall, News Editor & Online Editor
It's Madeline Mehall and she is a Junior. Mehall enjoys cheering in the fall and winter and is a captain. Her favorite class is free period. In Mehall's free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends. Mehall is commonly found in Mrs. Teegarden's room.
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  • A

    Adolph AlvarezDec 10, 2023 at 9:21 am

    I’m Abigils father Adolph Alvarez can you contact me. I would like to know where you got that quote from me?

    Reply
    • A

      adviserDec 12, 2023 at 8:25 am

      Mr. Alvarez, the student who wrote the article pulled the information from a January 29 article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. We are sorry we should have included that information in the article, and have updated it to reflect that. If you would rather we removed the reference to your daughter, we would respectfully do so. We are so sorry for your loss.

      Reply