Laredo ISD and Laredo Fire Department raise awareness during Red Ribbon Week

In honor of Red Ribbon Week, the Laredo Independent School District, in collaboration with the City of Laredo Fire Department, presented the important consequences of using drugs to Martin High School students Thursday morning.

As the first presentation of its kind, both departments are introducing this information to all high schools to raise awareness of the dangers of narcotics.

“As of last week, the City of Laredo had over 300 overdoses, and out of those, 57% happen to be from opioids. Right now, since there’s a big fentanyl scare, we are not making it on time and there are a lot of people in Laredo dying from a fentanyl overdose,” said Gerardo Soto MSN, RN Program Coordinator for the Laredo Fire Department Opioid Response Team.  “What better way to start prevention than with our high school kids before they get into any sort of problem such as opioid use disorder or worse case scenario, an overdose.” 

The presentations consisted of a PowerPoint explaining the use of Fentanyl products and awareness over its disguise, especially during Halloween celebrations. Additionally, two scenarios were played out: one where a person was able to be resuscitated recreating an overdose. The other scenario, a person overdosed overnight and first responders were not able to bring him back to life due to the severity of the intake. Both scenes showed how drug use affects individuals and their loved ones.

“I thought this presentation was very informative which gives us, the students at Martin High School, the opportunity to visualize the importance of how drugs can impact a big role in our lives especially in today’s generation where drugs are a very big problem,” Laisha Gonzalez MHS senior said. “Now that we are living through difficult circumstances, it is important to take precaution, be safe, and always make the right choice because one simple mistake can lead to very serious consequences, consequences that are not worth any bad outcome.” 

Gonzalez stresses the importance of raising awareness during Red Ribbon Week, claiming it as an important week of the year because presentations with life-like scenarios resemble the reality of the situation. She mentions how the visualization provides a different perspective on the importance of staying away from drugs, something that should be highly encouraged in today’s youth.

“It is important for the students not to give in to peer pressure - not to accept anything without it being prescribed or given to you by a professional,” Soto added. “Our primary goal here is to save lives. What better way to start than with our most precious assets that are our children.”