Over half a dozen LAUSD students overdosed from fentanyl in the last month

After experiencing the fentanyl crisis firsthand, one Santa Clarita father vowed to do all he can to educate students about the dangers surrounding fentanyl. 

In 2020, Jamie Puerta’s only son, Daniel, died from fentanyl poisoning. 

“He asked if he could walk the dog,” Puerta said. “We, believe he hooked up with a drug dealer three blocks from our home that he had contacted through Snapchat.”

Now in 2022, Puerta helped make a documentary meant to shock and alert teenagers to the dangers of fentanyl. He hopes to have every school district show the compelling film.

“It speaks perfectly about the crisis today,” Puerta said.  

Puerta, also the founder of Stop the Void, said that there has been a recent rash of fentanyl-related deaths in Santa Clarita. Puerta said one young woman died due to fentanyl poisoning at a nearby park.

“What they’re getting is a cloned pill made to look exactly like a pharmaceutical made with fentanyl… and it kills them,” said Puerta. 

Authorities said fentanyl remains the deadliest drug threat facing this country. The crisis has hit students at the Los Angeles Unified School District with a teenage girl dying last week and another student at the same school overdosing over the weekend. 

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore reported horrifying statistics that seven students in LA Unified have overdosed on fentanyl within the last month.

Puerta said there was a 300% increase in fentanyl deaths among kids between the ages of 11-17 years old from 2020-2021. These deaths account for 78% of all drug deaths in that age group.

“The tiniest amount that will make you ill or kill you,” said Dr. Danelle Fisher. 

Fisher, the chair of Pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s, has been warning parents about how the cartels are now targeting children.

“Rainbow fentanyl is so scary,” she said. “It looks like candy. It looks like smarties. It is not a vitamin. It’s not your Flintstones. It’s actually a deadly pill called fentanyl.”

Puerta said the only way to stop these deaths are with education and awareness. 

“There has never been a more dangerous, or more perilous time — I believe in my personal opinion — to being a teenager in Los Angeles County,” he said.

LAUSD said it will intensify efforts to help the well-being of students after two teenage boys were arrested for the death of 15-year-old girl and another overdose.

Read More: Over half a dozen LAUSD students overdosed from fentanyl in the last month

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