Growing number of teen overdoses in Boulder County sparks community meeting

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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Concern is growing in the greater Denver-Boulder area, where the number of overdoses among teenagers is on the rise.

The latest problem is fentanyl-laced drugs, which can be deadly.

At high schools in Boulder County, the warning has gone out to the youngest of drug users: watch for fentanyl-laced Xanax and Oxycodone pills.  

The drugs are often abused for recreational purposes.  

Mila Long is a peer support specialist who works with teenage users through a group called Natural Highs in Boulder.

“They are scared for their life and yet some of them have been using these pills for weeks and months,” said Long.  

The problem is so severe, Long trained more than 30 people Tuesday — many of them teens — on how to use doses of Narcan, which is used to reverse overdoses.  

“Some of them have even asked for two or three because they came up afterwards saying, ‘I’m around this all the time. I need these kits. I’m scared I’m going to see my friends die in front of me,'” Long added.  

Natural Highs will host a meeting to answer parents’ questions. 

Natural Highs Founder and Executive Director Avani said it’s important “because we see that a lot of teens are at risk right now. We hear directly form teens who we work with that a lot of teens are using these pills that are available to them like Xanax or Oxycodone.”

Users of the drugs are now much younger. Making matters worse – they are extremely unaware laced drugs could kill them.  

“Just over the last two to three weeks, we are seeing a lot more overdoses that are being resuscitated and that’s what’s really scary,” said Trina Faatz, who is the facilitator at the Boulder County Substance Use Advisory Group.  

FOX31 contacted the Boulder County Coroner’s Office to ask if any teenager had died in the past couple of weeks. We have not yet received a response.

The meeting with that group Natural highs will take place virtually at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Information is available online.

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