(pictured left to right: Tayler Russell, Jazmin Molina, Staci Luman, Kim Bartel)
Mr. Kim Bartel, the Program Manager of ADAC’s Prevention Resource Center (PRC), engaged in a candid and enlightening discussion with Nacogdoches High School students from the Career Technical Education (CTE) department. Accompanied by their mentor Staci Luman, head of CTE, students Jazmin Molina and Tayler Russell posed insightful questions about the alarming issue of fentanyl abuse and its impact on the community.
In response to inquiries about support for those affected by fentanyl use, Bartel stressed the importance of raising awareness among healthcare professionals, educators, and administrators. "Educating them about the signs and dangers of fentanyl and providing tools to respond to overdoses is crucial," Bartel emphasized. He also highlighted the provision of Narcan, an immediate antidote to fentanyl, which allows crucial time for first responders to administer aid.
Sharing his experiences concerning fentanyl-related incidents, Bartel shed light on the alarming prevalence of fentanyl in various substances within the community. "Fentanyl is being cut into almost all substances now, especially those originating from Mexico," Bartel revealed, indicating the shocking discovery that around 80% of individuals being admitted into one local treatment facility, tested positive for fentanyl, often unaware they were consuming it.
The impact of fentanyl abuse on East Texas families and individuals emerged as a poignant topic. Bartel highlighted alarming statistics, stating, "From 2018 to 2022, East Texas has seen higher rates of overall overdoses compared to the rest of Texas." He elaborated further, stating that fentanyl overdoses in East Texas exceeded the state average, painting a concerning picture of opioid-related issues in the region. Bartel drew attention that according to data released from the CDC, fentanyl is the leading cause of death among adults ages 18 to 45.
Addressing the pivotal query of helping individuals overcome addiction, Bartel highlighted the significance of motivation, support, and commitment. "Recovery is a lifelong commitment, necessitating continuous motivation and substantial support," Bartel emphasized, stressing the enduring changes substances like fentanyl induce in the brain.
Kim Bartel, a Certified Prevention Specialist, stands as a beacon advocating for awareness, education, and support in combating the grave challenges posed by fentanyl abuse in the local community.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and in need of support or treatment, don't hesitate to reach out to the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Council. You can contact us at 936-634-5753, where our compassionate team is ready to offer guidance, resources, and assistance tailored to your needs. Additionally, for more information about the help and services we provide, please visit our website at www.adacdet.org.
Authored by Steven Daugherty
Public Relations Coordinator, Alcohol and Drug Awareness Council