A teen from Ballard High School has died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.
According to a report from KING5, the teen’s parents say their son probably thought he was taking Oxycodone. The parents requested that the Seattle School District alert families about the overdose, which happened not long after two students at Skyline High School in Sammamish also overdosed on fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, far more potent than Oxycodone — even small doses can result in death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
“There has been a significant increase in King County overdose deaths among young people due to fentanyl-laced drugs and powders,” the school district posted on Facebook. “These deaths have been due to counterfeit opioid pills and powders that the young people reportedly did not know were laced with fentanyl.”
In a letter sent out to families, Ballard High School principal Keven Wynkoop urged parents to have direct conversations with their children about pills and overdoses.
“The death of a student is an event you are never fully prepared for as the school leader. Each student is part of my extended Ballard family, and so news about (the student) is hard to share,” Wynkoop wrote.
KING5 reports that the two Skyline teens who died also thought they were taking Oxycodone — the King County Sheriff’s Office said most pills purchased illegally are likely counterfeit and could contain fentanyl.
To learn more about fentanyl and to see images of known fentanyl-laced pills, click here.