Fake and Fatal: The Truth About Fentanyl
By City Manager Ken Striplin
The escalating presence of fentanyl in our community and the number of drug-related deaths is steadily increasing every year and has raised deep concerns among parents, caregivers, first responders and community leaders. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 100,000 deaths in 2022 due to drug overdoses alone. As we stand united against the challenges posed by this substance, our City recognizes the importance of knowledge and taking proactive measures. The Parent Resource Symposium is a collective effort to provide accurate information about fentanyl, its risks and how we can work together to safeguard our children’s future.
As a father myself, I understand that discussing sensitive topics like substance abuse with our children can be challenging. This year’s symposium aims to empower parents with the tools and confidence to engage in open, honest and constructive conversations with their children. That is why I urge you all to join us for the annual Parent Resource Symposium on Thursday, September 28, at the Canyon Country Community Center. This event is hosted by the City of Santa Clarita, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, with this year theme being, “Fake and Fatal: The Truth About Fentanyl.”
With the continual rise of social media use among our youth, parents are now having to be even more proactive to protect their children. From Snapchat to Instagram, TikTok to Facebook, our youth now have the ability to easily buy drugs with the tap of a finger. Most recently, our law enforcement and health workers have reported a spike in fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. This drug is now being laced into other pills, causing fatal consequences to those who are unaware of what they are actually taking. The social media platforms are one of the avenues that fentanyl is being sold, causing a catastrophic ripple effect. Unfortunately, fentanyl is now being found throughout our City, and it is our responsibility to arm ourselves with the right information to protect our youth and residents from this fatal drug.
Attendees will listen to members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Juvenile Intervention Team and Mental Evaluation Team as they speak about drug abuse, strategies to help your children and what trends they are seeing in our community. Additionally, attendees will be able to ask questions and get resources about drug abuse and coping strategies. Parents and teens will have the opportunity to explore the resource fair, where 12 local vendors will be available to answer any questions and provide resources and services for addiction support and much more.
I encourage everyone to join us at the Canyon Country Community Center on Thursday, September 28, at 5:30 p.m., for the Parent Resource Symposium. The event will also be livestreamed on the City’s Facebook page and will have Spanish translation available. We encourage you to share this information with your neighbors, friends and fellow parents. The more families we empower with knowledge, the stronger our collective efforts become in ensuring a safer environment for our children and teens. For more information about the event or to learn more about resources, please visit DFYinSCV.com
Ken Striplin is the City Manager for the City of Santa Clarita and can be reached at email@example.com.