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Girl dies from fentanyl-laced painkiller, latest in wave of Texas teen deaths

PoliticsElectionsGirl dies from fentanyl-laced painkiller, latest in wave of Texas teen deaths
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A 16-year-old Texas girl died of fentanyl poisoning after taking just one pill containing the opioid, her parents and the teen’s school district announced Wednesday — the latest in a wave of teen overdoses in the state, with lawmakers calling on schools asked to call. Increase education around the drug.

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Sienna Vaughn, a junior at Plano High School in Plano, Tex., took a pill she got from a friend on February 19 that she thought was Percocet, a prescription painkiller that she believed was supposed to help her relax. Can help, girl’s family wrote on one memorial website For him. But when her mother, Stephanie Vaughn, went to see Sienna and her friend, she found her daughter pale and her friend babbling in bed, she said. KDFW,

The doctors took both of them to the hospital. The friend survived, but Sienna was pronounced dead from what was confirmed to be fentanyl poisoning.

“He didn’t know what he had,” Sienna’s mother told the TV station. “They didn’t know it was fentanyl.”

In a letter sent to parents Wednesday evening, Plano Independent School District Superintendent Theresa Williams confirmed that an unidentified student had recently died of a fentanyl overdose.

“We recently experienced the tragic loss of one of our beloved Plano ISD students to fatal fentanyl poisoning,” Williams said in the letter. WFAA, “I cannot express the sadness and grief we are all feeling.”

The Vaughn family told The Washington Post that they are “crushed by the sudden death of our wonderful daughter and sister.”

“She was everything to us and we will never fully heal,” the family said in a statement. “Our goal in making his story public is to honor his memory by trying to save the lives of other children.”

Sienna’s death is the latest fatal fentanyl overdose to rock Texas in recent months, as parents, lawmakers and officials respond to interviews, proposed bills and even billboards Characteristic of the faces of dying youth.

In northern Texas, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District reported nearly a dozen cases of fentanyl overdoses by students between September and early March. nbc news informed of. In the cases, which include three deaths, charges were filed against three people for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, according to a federal complaint last month.

A billboard went up near Austin this week depicting Cameron Stewart, a 19-year-old from Cedar Park, Tex., who died in 2021 after taking a laced Valium. The billboard, which featured a picture of a smiling Stewart, read, “Fentanyl kills… just ask my mom!”

Texas Republicans have responded to the fentanyl deaths by calling for more education in schools and tougher penalties for those convicted of selling opioids. State Representative Terry Wilson (R) proposed a Bill This month school districts are being called on to provide at least 10 hours of instruction related to “fentanyl prevention and drug poisoning awareness” for students in grades six through 12. The bill is called “Tucker’s Law”. tucker roeA 19-year-old from Leander, Tex., who, like Vaughn, died in 2021 after purchasing and taking a Percocet.

The Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would allow prosecutors to charge fentanyl distributors with murder. Bill Joan Huffman (R), which would classify fentanyl overdose as a “poisoning,” has received support from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and is expected to be signed into law. The state GOP’s approach to increasing criminal penalties has been criticized by expertsWho accuses MPs of not doing enough to help drug addicts.

What’s unfolding in Texas mirrors a nationwide increase in fentanyl overdoses among young people. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past use, a fentanyl dose as small as 2 mg can be fatal.

A december report The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that monthly fentanyl-related overdose deaths for people ages 10 to 19 increased by 182 percent from July to December 2019, compared to the same period in 2021. Between July 2019 and December 2021, more than 2,200 teens in the United States fatally overdosed — and 84 percent of those deaths involved fentanyl, according to the report.

Sienna’s family said their daughter was involved in cheerleading and Girl Scouts, and that she loved thrift shopping, going to concerts, and playing with the family cats.

“She was just living a 16-year-old,” mother Stephanie Vaughn told KDFW.

On February 19, Sienna was eating snacks and joking with her friend on what appeared to be a regular Sunday, her mother told local media. But the mother realized something was wrong when her daughter did not respond to knocks on the door. Vaughn opened the door and realized there was danger, he said.

“Her friend was doing this weird purr and I looked over at Sienna and she was very pale,” the mother recalled to the station. “I immediately said, ‘Call 911, call 911.’ ,

The family wrote on their memorial page that even though they only found her about an hour after she had taken the fentanyl, it was too late.

“Taking a prescription pill that someone gave her was a mistake, but it shouldn’t be a fatal error,” he wrote. “With counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl circulating, people are not getting second chances.”

In a Wednesday letter to Plano ISD parents, Williams urged families to talk to their children about the dangers of drug use, especially fentanyl.

“It is vital that students and those of us who care for them understand the risks involved and the devastating consequences that can come from using this and other drugs, which come in a variety of forms – from pills to rape solutions. Until,” Williams wrote.

Since Sienna’s death, her family has raised over $31,000 GoFundMe To help raise awareness about bringing the overdose-reversal drug Narcan to schools and work with organizations focused on the fentanyl crisis. The Vaughn family stressed to The Post that it is important to share Sienna’s story, as well as the many other examples of young people who have died of fentanyl overdose — no matter how painful it may have been for them.

“No family should have to go through this pain and no child should lose their future because of the fentanyl-laced counterfeit drug trap,” the family said. “Please talk to your children and tell the world about this poison.”

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