Government agencies, community leaders, and activists join to combat fentanyl crisis

Actress Ava Michelle, McGruff the Crime Dog® unveil digital fentanyl memorial quilt

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Three key government agencies came together with community leaders and other advocates to find solutions that address a top U.S. public health crisis at the National Fentanyl Summit.

ncpc.org (PRNewsfoto/National Crime Prevention Council)
ncpc.org (PRNewsfoto/National Crime Prevention Council)

Fake pills containing lethal amounts of fentanyl are fueling a surge in deaths across America. Among teenagers, fentanyl poisoning has become one of the leading causes of fatalities over the past year.

"Fentanyl was a 20th century creation that is now illegally manufactured and distributed through a sophisticated 21st century supply chain," said Paul DelPonte, Executive Director of the National Crime Prevention Council. "New policies are needed that weave together ways to combat the supply, demand, and use of this drug. Greater citizen involvement is needed to bring about solutions."

Fentanyl is synthetic opioid that is approximately 100 times stronger than morphine. It is typically manufactured in China and then distributed by foreign drug cartels using an advanced supply chain. This includes targeting teenagers by selling fake pills as a variety of drugs through social media platforms like Snapchat and others.

As a prescription drug, fentanyl can be an important part of treatment. However, an array of drugs and fake pills are laced with fentanyl.

The event featured speakers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, SAFE Project, Alliance to Counter Crime Online, D.C. Metro Police Department, and the Alexander Neville Foundation.

To increase public attention to the crisis, The National Crime Prevention Council joined with actress Ava Michelle to launch The Lives Project – a digital remembrance quilt to honor those lost to the drug. Ava and her mother Jeanette lost their brother and son Devon Michael to fentanyl poisoning in 2021. Michael's patch was displayed during the event as the family shared their story. Other family members and friends of those who lost some from fentanyl can add a remembrance patch at ncpc.org.

"I am beyond excited and honored to be attending the first ever fentanyl summit for us all to finally come together and have a real talk about this devastating epidemic," said Ava Michelle. "I am looking forward to learning from others who are educated on this issue, sharing our story, and honoring those who've lost their lives. I am hoping that change is very near."

To learn more about NCPC and its efforts, please visit www.ncpc.org, or follow the organization on social media @McGruffatNCPC.

About the National Crime Prevention Council

The nonprofit National Crime Prevention Council is home to McGruff the Crime Dog® and has helped generations of Americans Take A Bite Out Of Crime® through public education campaigns and advocating for public policies to make the U.S. safer. Follow NCPC on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram @McGruffatNCPC.

Contact:
Tatiana Peralta
tperalta@ncpc.org
202-919-5544

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SOURCE National Crime Prevention Council