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‘Let’s save lives’: Aztecs deliver PSA on dangers of fentanyl

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SAN DIEGO — The message is powerful and honest, delivered by some of the most admired and respected young athletes in San Diego’s community. And the message is simple: fentanyl kills, here’s what you need to look for and here’s what you need to do. 

Members of San Diego State University men’s basketball team, including several who played in the 2023 NCAA National Championship Game, are using their voices to get the word out about the deadly consequences of fentanyl. 

“Fentanyl kills, creates chaos, ruins families,” Lamont Butler says in the video. “It doesn’t care about your race. It doesn’t care how you identify.”

Frank and honest, the public service announcement was launched this week to highlight Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day. The powerful video was posted to social media sites including Instagram, X, formerly known as Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and YouTube. 

City Attorney Mara Elliott is a mom to teenagers. Her office has prosecuted dozens of cases and has seen firsthand the devastating effects of fentanyl.

“If somebody like me is saying it, I don’t think kids are necessarily listening,” Elliott said to FOX 5 on Wednesday. “But those who are in that same age group hearing a leader in the community saying, this is a real issue for us, we’re aware of it, we’re doing something about it, we want you to join our team.” 

The PSA was created in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s office, San Diego City Attorney’s office and the nonprofit MESA (Mentoring And Empowering Student Athletes) Foundation.

“When kids go to a party, they don’t know what they area dropping in their mouth, they don’t know what they’re exposed to because you’re hearing a lot about fentanyl lacing other drugs,” Elliott added. “We really want to get the word out there.”  

The words are direct and deliberate — here’s the truth, here’s what you need to look out for and if you see someone in trouble here’s what you need to do.

“That’s 70,000 brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers lost last year,” the PSA says. “That Adderall, Percocet, Xanax, Ecstasy you are offered — it likely contains fentanyl.”

To view the PSA in its entirety, watch it on YouTube.

“We need to help each other,” the PSA continues. “Know where Narcan is. Watch for friends making strange sounds while sleeping at parties or turning blue. Call for help if in doubt. Be a good teammate, and let’s save lives.”

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