Governor Abbott Proclaims October 2023 Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month In Texas
Among the many illicit drugs afflicting communities across America today, fentanyl is the single deadliest drug crisis our state—and nation—has ever encountered. Historically, fentanyl has been used under a doctor’s supervision to treat patients with severe pain, with the drug being 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Just two milligrams of the synthetic opioid—a dose barely visible to the human eye—is lethal.
In recent years, the drug has gained traction as an illicit substance, resulting in a dramatic rise in fentanyl-related fatalities. Fentanyl is now the leading killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. Fentanyl-related deaths in Texas increased over 500% from 2019 to 2022, taking the lives of more than 4,800 unsuspecting Texans in just three years and leaving untold numbers to cope with sudden loss.
Under our historic border security mission, Operation Lone Star, Texas has seized more than enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in America. Despite this progress, deadly fentanyl is still being smuggled into Texas communities from Mexico.
Fentanyl is a scourge, with Mexican drug cartels strategically manufacturing and distributing the drug disguised as painkillers, stimulants, anti-anxiety drugs, and even candy. Victims of fentanyl poisoning are unaware that an alleged prescription pill or other substance they bought online or received at a party is laced with the deadly drug.
Consequently, my office, in tandem with various state agencies, has sought to raise awareness and educate Texans of the dangers of fentanyl. In October 2022, the State of Texas launched its comprehensive “One Pill Kills” public awareness campaign to educate Texans on how to prevent, recognize, and reverse fentanyl poisonings. In April 2023, my office hosted our One Pill Kills Summit with Texas families, law enforcement, education leaders, state officials, and fentanyl advocates for meaningful conversations to raise awareness about this deadly crisis and discuss solutions to save more lives. Working with members of the Texas Legislature this year, we also passed and signed House Bill 3144 into law, establishing October as Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month in Texas, along with several other laws to combat the growing national fentanyl crisis.
It is important that every Texan is aware of the fentanyl crisis plaguing our state and nation. Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month will be a life-saving effort to protect our friends, family members, and loved ones from this clandestine killer. All Texans must understand the risks of fentanyl and speak openly about its dangers, as well as the life-saving power of opioid poisoning reversal medication naloxone, such as NARCAN, now available at schools and health care facilities, over the counter, and with multiple levels of law enforcement across our state.
By coming together in this crisis, we can save more lives and ensure those around us are able to realize their dreams by reminding everyone that just one pill laced with fentanyl can take someone’s life. I encourage Texans of all ages to recognize October as Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month and to acknowledge the scourge of this deadly drug.
Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim October 2023 to be Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month in Texas and urge all Texans to observe the occasion with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto affixed my signature this the 3rd day of October, 2023.
Governor of Texas