Gov. Abbott launches campaign targeting fentanyl

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Less than a week after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his ‘Friday Night Lights Against Opioids’ coalition, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is launching a campaign of his own targeting fentanyl use and distribution.

The ‘One Pill Kills’ initiative will be a coordinated effort designed to fight what Governor Abbott calls a “deadly fentanyl crisis” happening in Texas and all over the nation.

“Fentanyl remains the single deadliest drug threat our state and nation has ever encountered, killing four Texans every day,” said Governor Abbott. “Fentanyl is a clandestine killer, with Mexican drug cartels strategically manufacturing and distributing the drug disguised as painkillers, stimulants, anti-anxiety drugs, and even candy. In the Biden Administration’s negligence to address this national security threat, Texas has designated Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations and is launching a statewide public awareness campaign to fight the fentanyl crisis in our state. I am proud to announce the launch of the State of Texas’ comprehensive ‘One Pill Kills’ campaign to remind Texans that just one pill laced with fentanyl can take someone’s life. Together, we will protect more innocent lives from being lost to this deadly drug.”

In September, Governor Abbott directed state agencies to increase efforts to combat the synthetic opioid.

On Monday, Governor Abbott held a round table discussion with state and local law enforcement officials to highlight the severity of the fentanyl crisis and he broke down some of the strategies that will be utilized in the state’s efforts to combat fentanyl. These include the consideration of new laws in the upcoming legislative session that could classify fentanyl as a poison. In this case, someone caught distributing the drug could face a murder charge if someone they gave it to dies after taking it.

Increasing the availability of the fentanyl overdose medication NARCAN will also be discussed during the coming legislative session.

In a release, Governor Abbott offered numbers that illustrate what Texas and the U.S. are facing moving ahead against fentanyl: 1,700 Texans died because of fentanyl last year. From February 2021 to February 2022, more than 75,000 Americans died as a result of fentanyl-related overdoses. In the past year, Texas law enforcement alone has seized over 342 million lethal doses of fentanyl—enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States.

The ‘Friday Night Lights Against Opioids’ initiative is an effort backed by public school officials and Texas former football players, like Mike Singletary, Randy White and Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones. This effort includes public service announcements and informational pamphlets that are handed out to parents and students at high school football games this fall in an attempt to steer young people away from fentanyl.

Fentanyl is the number one cause of death in Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.

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