Marriotts Ridge’s Fight Against Fentanyl

Marriotts Ridges Fight Against Fentanyl

Marriotts Ridge is home to many niche clubs, many of which center on fun activities and hobbies. The Fentanyl Prevention Club, however, focuses on a more serious subject: the advocacy and prevention of Fentanyl overdose.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that, when prescribed by doctors, serves as a powerful painkiller. However, many recreational drugs are being laced with lethal doses of Fentanyl, and Fentanyl overdoses in the United States are skyrocketing.
“Fentanyl is one of the worst drugs that’s been plaguing not just adults around the country, but teens as well. Most people who die from Fentanyl … when they overdose, and they don’t know it’s in the drugs they take already,” senior club president, Ahad Shah explained.
While parents and teachers may believe their teens are drug-free, unfortunately, the reality is that drug use does occur, and with it, the risk of Fentanyl overdose. Through the Fentanyl Prevention Club, Shah hopes to address the Fentanyl epidemic that is affecting teens across the country.
“[The club’s] goal is to bring awareness to [the Fentanyl crisis]. And through social media campaigns and posters around the school, we can help with, not only the community, but the entire county. We have a website that has gotten over five hundred visits—in just a couple weeks, it was super popular,” Shah said.
Unlike most clubs at Marriotts Ridge, the Fentanyl Prevention Club had a unique origin. It started as a project for Ms. Richards’ eleventh grade English class.
“I had a twenty-two year old nephew who passed away suddenly last March from Fentanyl addiction… And so after that, I was in the middle of doing a social action project with my eleventh grade honors classes, and I felt that this was a great opportunity for them to take their lessons they learned about rhetoric and put it to good use,” Ms. Richards explained.
While some students in Ms. Richards’ English classes made Instagram accounts as platforms for Fentanyl prevention advocacy, Shah opted for a website.
“When Ms. Richards told us the story about losing her nephew to Fentanyl, I felt so bad. The best way I could help with the situation was to use something I’m good at, which is making websites and using my creativity to be able to advocate to make sure people don’t go through the same thing [Ms. Richards] went through,” Shah said.
Although the club’s main goal is to teach students about Fentanyl prevention, that is not its only goal.
“[The club] won’t just help students through advocating for Fentanyl, but advocating, in general, for what they’re interested in. We want to be able to teach skills [students] can carry on throughout college and their future endeavors,” Shah stated.
As the Halloween season approaches, concerns surrounding the safety of candy emerge, and the Fentanyl Prevention Club has something to say about it.
“There’s a concern that people are putting Fentanyl in candy—it’s really easy to disguise it, since [Fentanyl] can be really small. That’s definitely something people should watch out for; don’t take any suspicious-looking candy or candy from people you might not know. The most important thing is to just be careful about what you put into your body,” Shah advises.
As Fentanyl-related deaths continue to increase, not just on a national level, but on a state-wide level, the Fentanyl Prevention Club offers a great opportunity for students to learn about this issue and make change.