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Sam Bass, Youth Alliance organizer, leads a fentanyl discussion with a youth group in Gilroy. Contributed photo
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Youth Alliance and the California Youth Empowerment Network will hold a virtual town hall on May 18 to educate the community about the dangers of the fentanyl drug. 

The youth-led event will discuss the impacts on mental health and the consequences of fentanyl poisoning in South Santa Clara County.

“Local youth have worked together over the last six months to put this call to action and develop a virtual town hall event on fentanyl and its impacts on mental health,” said Rene Casas, director of policy at Youth Alliance. “The youth have spoken and want to ensure that the community makes fentanyl a top priority as it impacts everyone in our community.”

“This youth-led town hall event is an opportunity for our youth to raise public awareness about a crisis that is impacting every community. Parents are losing children to this poison without realizing the risks they’re taking,” said Lillian Silva, program leader for Leaders in Training and Youth Alliance staff. “Every parent, teacher and youth should know about the dangers of fentanyl poisoning. The health and safety of our youth needs to be our top priority, which is why Youth Alliance has partnered with the California Youth Empowerment Network to help spread the word about fentanyl.”

Among teenagers, overdose deaths linked to synthetic opioids like fentanyl have tripled in the past two years, yet many people have never heard of fake prescription pills being made with fentanyl, according to Youth Alliance. Fentanyl-involved deaths are fastest growing among 14- to 23-year-olds. 

A new effort is being launched to help prevent this crisis and it all starts with a shared understanding and awareness of the impacts this has on youth. 

“Just as important in getting the message to the public, is to make sure we also get youth involved in discussions about the dangers that exist out there,” Silva said. “This youth-led town hall allows a safe space for the youth voices to discuss this topic and inform the community about the impacts on mental health and the consequences of fentanyl poisoning.”

The virtual event takes place at 5pm on May 18. For information on how to attend, visit

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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