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Opinion: CU’s Plan to Control Deadly Fentanyl: Education, Intervention, and Partnerships

By University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano:

When I talk to parents of new CU Boulder students each fall, I often thank them for entrusting their children to our care. It’s a responsibility we take seriously across the university, requiring diligence and compassion as we help support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of thousands of young adults.

In the last several years, our campus community – like so many others across the nation – has faced a devastating new threat: fentanyl.

States across the U.S., including Colorado, have faced a deluge of injuries and deaths from the drug, now considered the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18-49. The drug is so lethal that about two milligrams – which fits on the tip of a pencil – is enough to kill. Worst of all, it’s commonly hidden within illicit drugs and counterfeit prescriptions, making it nearly impossible to detect without testing.

Some use the term “fentanyl poisoning,” rather than overdose, to reflect the scary reality that many who die from the drug never intended to use it in the first place.

As we face this scourge across our communities, I’m proud that CU Boulder is taking proactive steps to educate and protect our students from the threat of fentanyl overdoses and deaths. And I’m urging families to have open conversations with their children as early as they can about the risks.

Read the rest of the article in The Colorado Sun.