A high school student from Alabama who died, and four other students who were admitted to hospital were likely to have been exposed to fentanyl.
According to the Associated Press, police were called to Selma High School Tuesday when multiple students started showing signs of a health problem. One 16-year old male sophomore student died and four others were taken to a local hospital.
Authorities suspected that the deaths and hospitalizations were caused by a painkiller possibly laced with Fentanyl. However, Michael Jackson, Dallas County District Attorney, stated that investigators are still waiting for a toxicology and autopsy report to make a final determination.
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Jackson stated, “It doesn’t take much for you to die.”
Other students are expected to make a full recovery.
Zickeyous Byrd, the school superintendent, did not penalize students who missed class Wednesday because of the tragedy. He stated that “an incident of this magnitude” doesn’t just affect one family but affects us all.
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Mayor James Perkins Jr. cautioned against jumping to conclusions in this case. He stated that the victim of the 16-year old murder, who has yet been identified, was very close.
“Because the victim is a minor, I won’t name him. Perkins stated in a statement that Perkins was very close to his death. He was a son to me.”
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Fentanyl is now the driving force behind the U.S. Opioid Crisis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 75% of all overdose deaths in the United States were due to fentanyl. In 2021, more than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. This was the first time that the country reached six figures.