‘It’s really scary out there’: Parents gather at Alexandria City High School to discuss drug use in kids

Parents gathered at Alexandria City High School in Virginia Wednesday night to discuss drug use and overdoses in kids, which is a problem in communities across the nation.

Jen Sweeder, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, told parents that almost 300 people die everyday from drug overdoses across the U.S. — most of them from opioids.

“Even if you don’t see it in your own home, you probably have a friend, maybe a family member or a friend of a friend that’s been affected by opioids or fentanyl at some point in their lives,” Sweeder said.

She added that the fentanyl epidemic is similar to the crack epidemic “because it comes with a lot of violence, a lot of deaths and it’s just really scary that’s doesn’t seem to be going away.”

Sweeder provided these following tips to parents:

  • Help is available and it’s OK to ask for it
  • Avoid medications that aren’t prescribed to them
  • Don’t buy drugs online because it’s dangerous
  • Talk to family and friends about the dangers of buying drugs online

She said that these tips are important for everyone. “It’s really scary out there,” Sweeder said.

According to the Alexandria City Public Schools Student Code of Conduct, drugs are prohibited on school grounds.

On Tuesday, neighboring Arlington Public Schools announced a plan that will to allow its students to carry naloxone in schools as part of opioid prevention efforts by the end of May.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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