Dallas school district hosts Spanish meeting on Fentanyl dangers – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas school district hosts Spanish meeting on Fentanyl dangers – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas school district hosts Spanish meeting on Fentanyl dangers – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

As fentanyl infiltrates schools and neighborhoods, district leaders are working with law enforcement to send a warning to parents. A meeting Tuesday night at WT White comes just one day after the overdose of a teenager in Northeast Dallas. His family is convinced it was fentanyl.

Joevana Rodriguez says she started chest compressions when her brother, 16-year-old Rodolfo Angel Rodriguez, stopped breathing. She tried for several minutes to revive him.

“I really did, I really did everything I could,” she said.

Dallas Fire Rescue confirmed they responded to the overdose call Monday off Park Lane in Northeast Dallas. Rodriguez never woke up. Although officials have not confirmed the cause of the overdose, Joevana is convinced she knows what killed her brother.

“Feel like it was fentanyl,” she said. “I do. I really do.”

It’s this grief that concerned Dallas parents hope to avoid. Dallas ISD, along with Trustee Edwin Flores, held a meeting at WT White High School. They joined forces with the Dallas DEA to discuss the consequences of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equivalent to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.

Mayra Valdez attended the meeting. She has a teenage son and said she wants to know what to look for.

“For my son, I’m worried that one day I’ll wake up and he’s not around because of the things that are happening,” Valdez said.

Often at community meetings, third-party organizations provide Narcan — a nasal spray known to save lives during a suspected opioid overdose. While some parents are hesitant, Valdez said she would definitely keep the preventative medicine in her home.

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“If I get anything to save my child’s life, of course I’ll take it,” she said. “I take it because my son’s safety comes first.”

Special Agent Eduardo Chavez said parents must face the possibility of drug use and experimentation in their homes.

“It’s everybody else’s problem until it’s in your home and you’re confronted face-to-face with it,” Chavez said.

He said parents are generally persuaded by hearing about other people’s experiences.

“Things like Narcan can save a life,” he said. “But you must have it. You have to have it readily available, and it has to be relatively immediate.”

Rodriguez is still processing his family’s loss, but has a message for anyone who will listen.

“Think the consequences twice before they take action so we can avoid another family feeling what we’re feeling right now,” she said.

The family of 16-year-old Rodolfo Rodriguez told us they had just moved to North Texas from Brownsville and he planned to enroll in Dallas ISD.

Dallas police were investigating the suspected overdose Monday afternoon, but have not released additional information, and a cause of death has not been confirmed by the medical examiner.

The Dallas ISD meeting comes about a week after a Carrollton teenager was revived with Narcan after being found unresponsive in a school bathroom.

Despite claims that certain colors may be more potent than others, there is no indication through DEA’s laboratory testing that this is the case. The DEA said every color, shape and size of fentanyl should be considered extremely dangerous.

Without laboratory testing, there is no way to know how much fentanyl is concentrated in a pill or powder. If you encounter fentanyl in any form, do not handle it and call 911 immediately.

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