HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Hays Consolidated School District has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic.
Already this year the district has had two students who overdosed.
“We had two kids that overdosed and thankfully we were able to revive them with Narcan,” said Hays CISD Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright.
Last year, the district had four students die after taking pills that were laced with fentanyl.
“Never heard about it in my life before these past two years,” said Collin Richardson, a student at Lehman High School.
Richardson said now he hears about it more and more, and he even knows people who have lost friends to fentanyl.
“I feel scared, very scared about it,” Richardson said.
Timothy Boyd goes to Johnson High School. He said he lost a close friend to the drug.
“It hurts to say it, but he is not the only life that has been lost from it,” Boyd said.
Lance Moffett is the athletic director for Hays CISD. He helped put together a program called “Coaches vs Overdoses.”
The program helps educate students, parents and the community by passing out info packets and drug disposal kits at football games.
“The worst thing you will ever do as an educator is bury a kid,” Moffett said.
Moffett said educating everyone in the community about the danger of opioids will save lives.
“Just being able to raise awareness and give kids an opportunity to talk to each other and know what the different lingo is,” he said.
Hays CISD is partnering with the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA).
The program includes educational material that will be delivered to parents and students electronically. They will also distribute a drug disposal tool at varsity football games.
Wright said following recent overdoses, he’s worried, but he’s hoping recent work by the district to educate students will help save lives.
“We really had a bad batch of pills last summer, but I think we have another influx now, don’t know where they are coming from, but we need to educate so people will still stay away from them,” Wright said.
The THSCA plans to launch the Coaches vs. Overdose program statewide in October. This year’s pilot program will include 125-150 schools throughout Texas that will participate in the program.