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The Aquilian

    Drug dealing’s latest savvy transaction

    AED box contains lifesaving resources like Narcan for drug overdoses. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons )
    By Peter Kalitka–

    In April 2021, Virginia legalized marijuana for adults 21 years or older, and ever since, drug dealers have seen an opportunity to exploit the rules instilled, according to the Virginia General Assembly bill of legalized marijuana.  

    According to the article “THC Sports Drinks: Police warn parents in Fairfax County” in Fox by Jacqueline Matter and Bob Barnard, “Drug dealers have gotten creative,” said 1st Lieutenant Ann Rizza, assistant commander of Organized Crime and Narcotics for Fairfax County police.

    Creative indeed.  THC, one of the major psychoactive components of marijuana, is being sold to kids through disguised energy and sports drink bottles in Fairfax Co. Virginia.

    However, the danger of these illegal transactions is not the marijuana itself, but instead the, “unregulated dosage of potency in these bottles,” Lt. Rizza stated in Jacqueline Matter and Bob Barnard’s story.

    That is these drug dealers put other potent chemicals like fentanyl into the bottle to essentially spice up the dosage and get the customers to keep coming back. 

    “Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin, and 100 times more potent than morphine.  In fact, if you can visibly see fentanyl with your naked eye, that amount of dosage can kill you,” said Mrs. Amy Harper, school nurse.

    Because of its dangerous characteristics, it is used very cautiously as a medicine.  However, a potential life lost doesn’t stop drug dealers from making a sale.  

    To put it in perspective, according to provisional data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 109,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2022, and of those, 109,000 people nearly 80 percent of confirmed fatal drug overdoses were caused by fentanyl.

    It’s hard to escape news locally of students dying or overdosing on drugs like fentanyl without assessing what’s going on here at Gonzaga.  Luckily, Gonzaga faculty have put in measures of safety to ensure if this were ever to happen on Campus, there are mechanisms to save one’s life.  

    Nurse Harper leads a now annual training on what to do and how to respond in a medical emergency involving a community member – such as drug overdose. The school has strategically placed Narcan and other resources and supplies that adults can administer in the event of an overdose, “ said Mr. Jim Kilroy, assistant headmaster for student life and mathematics teacher.

    “Contained in AED boxes, Narcan essentially temporarily reverses the effects of excess narcotics in the body,” explained Mrs. Harper.

    Remember, the danger is not the THC itself being sold to these teenagers, it is the unregulated, unknown amounts of fentanyl or other drugs snuck into these bottles which put one at risk the second they began to consume.

    It’s safe to say the country is currently in a drug epidemic concerning fentanyl overdoses; however, it is a comforting sign to know that if something along these lines were ever to happen here, Mrs. Harper and the Gonzaga faculty have prepared for it.  



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    • C

      Carol H CorganMar 10, 2023 at 6:30 am

      I heard a Congressional hearing on CSPAN about fentanyl shipped into the country by the cartels. Frightening the way they are flooding the US with it. To think they are spiking sports drinks with fentanyl!
      This is an important article, Peter.