Video Message on Opioid Crisis from Interim Superintendent Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt
Interim Superintendent Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt shares a video message asking Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) families for their help and partnership in talking to their students about the opioid crisis. ACPS secondary students will view a similar video made for students in school on Wed., Oct. 26, 2022, so that they can hear directly from Dr. Kay-Wyatt.
Alexandria and ACPS: Sharing Information Resources to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Many people have likely heard about the opioid crisis in the news, increasingly affecting school-aged youth from all walks of life in communities across the nation, including the City of Alexandria. But what are opioids, how do people encounter them, and what can you do as a family member of an ACPS student?
Opioids are highly addictive drugs used to reduce pain. They include prescriptions like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl and the illegal opioid, heroin, and they come in all forms—tablets, liquid and powder.
Overdoses in school-aged youth in Alexandria, who report using a “little blue pill” they believed was Percocet, have occurred because the pills are laced with fentanyl, a cheap and deadly substitute that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. The pills are predominantly smoked off of tin foil. These drugs are sold on the street and promoted through social media platforms, including TikTok. Additionally, fentanyl has been laced in all substances including marijuana, vape pens, cocaine and heroin.
At ACPS, the Department of Student Services & Equity uses a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) approach to providing a supportive school environment for students involved with substance use or abuse. Visit the ACPS Substance Abuse Prevention & Educational Intervention webpage to learn more and to access resources, including fact sheets on fentanyl for youth and adults provided in English, Spanish, Amharic and Arabic.
Please be aware that using this type of drug just once can kill someone. It is critical to communicate with youth (Spanish) to protect them from experimenting with opioids. These tips for talking about drugs can help. Look for early signs of possible drug use in your children and familiarize yourself with the signs of a drug overdose. Obtain free Narcan, a nasal spray that reverses the effects of drug overdoses until medical help arrives. For life-threatening situations, call 9-1-1 immediately. Please lock up your prescriptions using these free medical lock boxes and properly dispose of expired or unneeded medications at locations throughout the City. If you or someone you care about needs help, please call 703-746-3400 to speak with staff at the Department of Community and Human Services.
Visit alexandriava.gov/Opioids for more information on the opioid crisis and how the City of Alexandria is responding and check out the healthy and positive family resources of the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria.
- Student Code of Conduct