Fairfax Co. parents turn out at community meeting to learn about the threat of fentanyl

Concerned that the deadly drug fentanyl is in schools and neighborhoods, parents gathered at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, Tuesday night to learn what they can do to protect their kids.

More than 100 residents heard from a panel of experts, including school leaders, police and experts in substance abuse treatment.

A veteran detective with Fairfax County police told parents that pills laced with fentanyl are a big threat. They sell for $8 to $10 per pill, about four times cheaper than just two years ago.

A community meeting where about 100 people head from a panel about the dangers of fentanyl held at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, on Tuesday, March 29, 2023.
A community meeting of more than 100 attendees focused on the dangers of fentanyl was held at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, on March 29, 2023. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity sponsored the community meeting to boost awareness about the risks fentanyl poses to the school community.

“The goal here is really to educate, to let parents know what to look out for, to let kids know what to look out for,” Herrity said.

The detective said fentanyl is showing up in many recreational drugs, and it’s so powerful that even tiny amounts can kill. The community meeting offered training for administering naloxone, the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses.

“Lives are being saved across the county every day because of naloxone … being saved by individuals as well as police and fire that arrived on the scene,” said Herrity.

The 18-year veteran police detective recommended that concerned parents check their kid’s cellphones. He said cash apps should be monitored so parents can see where the money is going. The detective also told parents about encrypted apps commonly used for drug transactions, including Signal, Telegram and TextNow.

The detective also said that many of the illegal pills are shipped by U.S. mail, so parents should make sure they know what packages are arriving at the house.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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