Open Site Navigation

CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION MATERIALS

FREE middle and high school learning material developed by teachers in the Beaverton School District (Oregon) using best known practices.

STUDENT

ASSEMBLIES

Student assemblies can be an impactful way to ensure all of your students are informed of the dangers of the fake prescription pills they can easily get online, and to get them talking about this danger with their peers.

TOWN HALLS

We recommend that schools and other organizations also host community conversations or town hall meetings to educate students, parents, and other community members about the changes in the drug landscape and the risks today’s youth are facing.

EDUCATE CLASSROOM TEACHERS, COACHES & ADMINISTRATORS

Faculty and Staff have a big influence on students so we encourage schools to integrate mental health, safe medicine use, fake pill, and substance use into their lesson plans and discussions whenever there is an opportunity.

SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

We encourage schools/districts to post warnings across their social media accounts, including those managed by students. 

POSTERS/FLYERS

We encourage schools to display posters/flyers around the school and/or send them home in parent newsletters. Song for Charlie offers free posters/flyers, digital and for print, for anyone to use.

STUDENT LED ACTIVTIES

Students talking to students about the dangers of fentanyl might be the most impactful method of getting this message across. Students in districts across the nation have taken action to raise awareness in their communities.

SWAG

Kids like swag, and they can be a good reminder of the important messages kids learn.

FEEDBACK

We are always looking for ways to improve this toolkit. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please share them with jennifer@songforcharlie.org. Thank you!

FAKE PILL AWARENESS

MIDDLE SCHOOL

& HIGH SCHOOL 

TOOLKIT

What’s Happening? 

Deaths from fake pills with fentanyl are surging in every state across the country. Drug deaths are no longer impacting just people fighting the disease of addiction. Due to the introduction of fentanyl into our nation's illicit drug supply, young students, some as young as 13, are dying from fentanyl-related poisonings. Unknowing teens think they are getting familiar prescription medicines, but instead are getting the much more powerful fentanyl and losing their lives— teenagers who had hopes and dreams and plans, and who deserved to have long, full lives. 

Teens are purchasing what they think are OxyContin, Percocet or Xanax pills via social media, but drug dealers are making these fake pills with the cheaper, stronger and more deadly synthetic drug called fentanyl to increase their profits. Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is odorless, tasteless and colorless. Teens never know what they’re getting. One pill can kill them. One pill.

The pills are nicknamed “Blues” for their common color (though they can come in other colors) or “M30s” for the stamp on the pills. The tablets are so well made that even experienced users say that they can’t tell the difference between a counterfeit pill and a pill manufactured by a pharmaceutical company.

To be clear, these are not pharmaceutical-grade painkillers; they are pills made by drug dealers, mostly outside the country. There is no quality control. Pills in the same batch can have wildly varying levels of fentanyl. The amount of fentanyl it takes to overdose and die is equivalent to two grains of sand.

 

In September 2021, the DEA issued its first safety alert in six years to warn Americans of “the alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine.” The DEA has seized counterfeit pills in every state in unprecedented quantities. Read more to learn about our nation’s fake pill crisis.

The DEA points to advertisements on social media platforms like Snapchat, Tiktok, and Instagram. Officials say that young people find pills especially appealing because they’re cheap, more socially acceptable than meth or heroin and don’t have a tell-tale smell like alcohol or marijuana.

 

Youth deaths from fake pills is not a problem that can be fixed by parents or schools alone; it is a problem communities need to tackle together: parents, students, social media companies, law enforcement, health care professionals, schools, and more all need to create a safe and healthy environment for their kids. This toolkit is intended to help schools and other similar youth organizations to educate their communities about the dangers of fake prescription pills.

Taking Action

This tool kit is intended for school districts, middle schools, high schools, and other organizations who are interested in raising awareness of the dangers of fake prescription pills amongst their students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other community members. 

 

Because kids learn best when the lessons are presented multiple times in different ways, we recommend using all of the approaches listed if at all possible. However, schools may choose to mix and match from the resources available or create other ways to reach kids. For monthly updates including new content, sign up for the Song for Charlie newsletter.

 

All of the resources on this website are FREE to use; we just ask that you CLICK HERE to let us know so we know how far our material is reaching.