As part of the “No Safe Experience” campaign launch, educational materials have been distributed to 217 public middle and high schools across the state. On May 11, a delivery of posters, racks cards and decals were delivered to Alvirne High School in Hudson by the New Hampshire National Guard. No Safe Experience is a statewide public awareness campaign to alert individuals to the significant dangers of fentanyl.
“The drug epidemic is real for kids,” said Steve Beals, principal of Alvirne High School. “As a principal to over 1,000 students and as a father of four, I know nothing impacts a school community greater than when a young person’s life is taken too early and tragically. In school, we are here to educate and teach students and our most important educational moment is sharing the message that there is no safe experience when experimenting with illicit substances because you do not know what is in them. Only take medications that are prescribed for you by a medical professional.”
No Safe Experience is focused on educating youth, young adults, and families about the prevalence of fentanyl in counterfeit pills and illicit substances and to heighten awareness that there is No Safe Experience without a prescription. The school delivery comes days after National and New Hampshire Fentanyl Awareness Day. The campaign uses facts and education as the greatest tool in preventing substance misuse and premature loss of life because even a very small dose of fentanyl can lead to death.
“This campaign is all about the idea that knowledge is power,” said Mansi Mathur, valedictorian at Alvirne High School and member of Governor’s Youth Advisory Council on Substance and Abuse. “The No Safe Experience campaign will help educate students about the dangers of fentanyl. Hopefully this will encourage conversations about how there is truly no safe experience without a prescription.”
Junior ROTC students assisted with hanging posters in highly visible areas of the school including classrooms, hallways, and the cafeteria. Additionally, they handed out information cards and decals to students. Educational toolkits and resources have been made available to schools throughout the state.
NH State Police report that fentanyl is now showing up in over half of the drug samples submitted to the Forensic Laboratory in 2022 – nearly a 70 percent increase over 2021. Last year, there were 480 overdose deaths in the Granite State from substances with fentanyl present with another four deaths pending toxicology results.
No Safe Experience is focused on individuals who may be inclined to try substances without fully understanding what they are, where they came from and what might actually be in them.