LUBBOCK, Texas — This year, public schools statewide will implement House Bill 3908 which requires them to teach fentanyl abuse prevention and drug poisoning awareness to their students. Lubbock ISD is one of the districts currently working on the new curriculum.

While they have taught drug prevention courses in the past, this year will be different because they will teach a curriculum specifically based on fentanyl.

The bill meant to combat fentanyl-related deaths, also known as “Tucker’s Law,” went into effect in June and comes in the wake of the “One Pill Kills” campaign launched earlier this year. However, schools around Lubbock are now beginning to create and implement the curriculum.

“When you look at fentanyl, it’s scary because one pill can kill you. It’s really important for [the students] to have conversations that they’ve probably never had,” Stacy Carter, the director of school safety and security said.

Carter said they plan to bring in speakers like Chad Curry from UMC EMS to speak to both their parents and students. She said she wants them to leave these presentations knowing the resources that are available in the community for those who are struggling.

Curry said when he comes to speak to the schools, one of the main things he’ll be sure to do is build an awareness around how easily fentanyl can be hidden in other things.

“Pills are number one and then it can also be sold in vapes,” Curry said. “A lot of times, kids may not know they’re getting that — they still use that vape. Then there’s of course the acid tab papers that they can suck on. There’s lollipops. There’s a lot of different ways that it could be exchanged.”

The bill requires schools to provide at least 10 hours of education a year on fentanyl prevention and drug poisoning awareness. It also requires Gov. Greg Abbott to designate a fentanyl poisoning awareness week for all public schools.

Curry said other schools in Lubbock County have already reached out to UMC EMS to speak to their students and he will start visiting schools in September. 

“My hope is we have no overdoses this year. I mean, for a school system — especially as big as Lubbock — that we have no issues with drugs. That would be the ultimate goal, at the end of the day. To save as many lives as possible,” Curry said.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, or you are looking for resources to educate yourself and others, please visit the Texas Health and Human Services site for a list of resources available.