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Frontiersman Article || Anchorage School District Adopts Kellsie's Lesson

The facts and data regarding the opioid epidemic, especially with the surge of the powerful synthetic Fentanyl, are screaming at us to provide our youth with the most honest, current and accurate information to save their lives.

In short, educated adults need to arm them with vital information to make positive decisions to ensure they are safe, healthy and thriving.

Kellsie’s Lesson demonstrates the basic neuroscience of ‘how opioids hack and whack the brain,’ with the potential issues leading to addiction, beginning with misuse, tolerance and dependence.

The lesson is aligned with National Health Standards in collaboration and partnership with Carmen Ashley, Division Director of Adolescent Health and the CDC.

Kellsie’s Lesson is dedicated to Kellsie Green, along with youth that have experienced addiction and lost their lives to withdrawals, overdoses and/or poisonings.

In Kellsie’s case, she died in the Anchorage jail due to her withdrawals from heroin at 24 years of age.

We know that our current state student health curriculum does not address opioids, much less Fentanyl.

And, we know Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and a 100 times more powerful than morphine. With that potential, it only takes 2 mg to be a fatal poisoning.

Also, every drug from heroin, cocaine, meth, along with Percocet, Xanax, Oxy and even Adderall are most likely contaminated with Fentanyl.

This has become opioid roulette with a possible ‘nightmare alley’ as the end of the road.

In addition, there are no resources for educators, not even at the e-Learning website at the Department of Early Childhood and Education regarding current Fentanyl facts.

Unfortunately, we can not wait for new student health guidelines and curriculum, lives hang in the balance!

Due to those unfortunate facts, an addendum had to be added to Kellsie’s Lesson titled, ‘Fentanyl,’ with the most current and accurate drug reports ( i.e. Six out of ten counterfeit pills have a potential of poisoning ) along with resources for educators, parents and youth.

And, parents have to be a vital partner in battling opioids with parents being their children’s first teachers. Then, schools being an insurance policy for all middle and high school students to know the dire consequences of ‘ONE PILL CAN KILL! ( D.E.A.)

With these challenges, the Anchorage School District voted into policy: Kellsie’s Lesson, to be part of their ‘Drug Education and Prevention’ curriculum for all middle and high school students.

I want to thank the Anchorage School District for this important drug education and prevention measure to ensure students can live to their fullest potential.

They are the first school district to address this important issue regarding opioids, especially Fentanyl for the health and well-being of their students.

MYHouse of Mat-Su and the Mat-Su Opioid Task Force hopes that all school districts across the state begin to enhance and supplement their drug education and prevention strategies to address opioid awareness for all our Alaskan youth.

We will continue to advocate and recommend Kellsie’s Lesson to ensure we keep our youth safe, healthy and thriving.

We can not afford to wait until a new state health curriculum regarding opioid awareness is created and delivered to youth.

# Adopt Kellsie’s Lesson

Michael Carson

V.P. & Recovery Specialist, MYHouse of Mat-Su

Chair of the Mat-Su Opioid Task Force

State Opioid Steering Committee

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