San Antonio firefighters, representatives back PSA targeting fentanyl poisoning

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — As the fentanyl crisis continues, the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association is backing a message to the public that was inspired by a local family who lost a child to the synthetic opioid.

The public service announcement debuted at a press conference Thursday morning, and numerous officials, first responders and the mother of the fallen child were there to answer questions and talk about future strategies.

Concerns over addiction and the trafficking of narcotics are hardly new to society, but fentanyl is different in the eyes of many first responders who encounter its impacts on people on a more and more frequent basis.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine,” said San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association President Joe Jones. “As first responders, if we don’t get to a fentanyl poisoning fast enough, the results are deadly.”

The PSA now released focuses on the death of Danica Kaprosy, who died after taking a pill she thought was Zanax, but was actually fentanyl. Danica’s mother, Veronica, attended the announcement and recounted the events that led to tragedy.

Beyond just the dangers of fentanyl itself is the way in which adults or children can get access to the drug.

“Drug dealers use creative social media measures, such as exclusive invite only groups, which are password protected. And then, they use word of mouth to spread the whereabouts of their posts, their pages and their messages,” said Jones.

Joe Jones, President of San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association – KTSA

But by the time law enforcement catches wind of the communication, the drug dealers have deleted the messages, closed the group and moved on.

A number of first responders and law enforcement officials seem to agree that there is no easy solution to the fentanyl crisis. But they also echo the message that arguably the greatest strategy to bring down the rapidly growing number of deaths resulting from fentanyl poisoning is for education and communication to ramp up. To that end, it is critical for parents to talk to their children, especially given how close children are to actual drug dealers while using their phone or device.

“It’s starting with a grass-roots, family-type movement and that’s what is going to change it. The parents waking up and saying, ‘Oh my God, that could have been my daughter, or that could have been my child,’ and paying attention to what’s going on,” said Ronald Tooke, President of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County.

You can learn more about the current fentanyl crisis and view the new PSA by clicking here.

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