WICHITA FALLS (KFD/KJTL) — By now you know just how much the dangers of Fentanyl are impacting our community, specifically our youth.

That’s why our local leaders are continuing their efforts, to educate families on doing their part to keep their loved ones safe with events like a Fentanyl town hall to keep the conversation going.

“The last 12 months we’ve killed upwards of 300,000 people with drug overdoses, this is a catastrophic crisis going on,” Houston Forensic Science Center President and CEO Peter Stout said.

The drug is dangerous, deadly and is taking young adults by storm.

“They say 50/50 chance at any given time if you take one of these pills that you will die. It’s that deadly, it’s that dangerous.” 78th District Judge Meredith Kennedy said.

The drug can be 50 to 100 times stronger than Morphine and is typically used to treat severe pain. And, get this, it only takes about two milligrams to take a life. These days it’s hitting the streets at rapid numbers, falling into the hands of the youth.

“Unless it’s a certified pharmacist that’s handing it to you in the little stapled bag, you have no idea what’s in it. So just don’t put it in your mouth,” Kennedy said.

Understanding simple things like that are why Kennedy, alongside other local officials, say hosting events like Monday’s town hall are needed to create a safe space for these kinds of conversations and educate folks not only Fentanyl, but the countless other drugs out there.

“I think it would be good to continue it until we really get a lot more education in our community about it because it hit us it’s been in our community for a long time. We’ve known it was in our community but the number of deaths, we’ve had around 30 in the last year, has just come on so quickly that we just feel like we’re behind the eight-ball on it,” Kennedy said.

It’ll take the work of everyone in this community, to confront this and other drugs that have the potential to impact any of us.

For more information on the Fentanyl crisis and resources available here locally, click here.