‘One pill can kill’: Florida attorney general issues fentanyl warning to college students

The Florida Attorney General is warning college students about new deadly drugs. Fentanyl is now the number one killer of adults between the ages of 18 and 45 according to state officials. News4Jax reporter Brianna Andrews is hearing from a Jacksonville man who knows personally how dangerous this drug is.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – “One pill can kill.”

That’s state attorney general Ashley Moody’s warning to college students starting their fall semester.

Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that can easily mix with other drugs to the point where you may not know it’s there.

“It’s a game of Russian roulette. You never really know which bag you’re going to get,” said Chris Colcord, a treatment placement advocate at Beaches Recovery.

Before becoming an addiction recovery counselor Colcord battled an opiate addiction in his 20s.

“I had a knee surgery and got prescribed oxycontin and then it just progressed from there. The easiest thing to do was switch to heroin and then heroin came along and of course fentanyl is the cheaper option,” said Colcord.

News4JAX reached out to multiple universities across Jacksonville about their plan to tackle this issue during the new school year.

The University of North Florida released this statement:

“The University of North Florida strictly prohibits the unlawful purchase, possession, distribution and/or use of illegal drugs. The University is monitoring the nationwide fentanyl situation and all University Police Department (UPD) officers have completed mandatory training in responding to fentanyl and other opioid-related calls. Every UPD officer carries Naloxone and is trained to administer it. UNF Housing and Residence Life staff completed voluntary training on fentanyl and administering Naloxone. The Informed Ospreys Program has an online module related to opioid use that every incoming freshman must complete. The Counseling Center and Student Health Services also offer support, resources, and care provider referrals for students struggling with substance abuse.”

Jacksonville University also released a statement:

“Jacksonville University commends any and all efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of illicit drug use. JU employs strategies that focus on educating students about such dangers and supporting them in times of crisis. All incoming Jacksonville University students are required to participate in a mandatory drug and alcohol education program. JU’s Campus Safety and Security Department also offers drug and alcohol seminars throughout the academic year. Additionally, Jacksonville University has a medical amnesty policy for students. This means, if a student is experiencing a crisis or emergency involving drugs or alcohol – or if they are with a friend who’s in crisis – the student can report it to their Residential Advisor or our Campus Safety and Security officers without facing disciplinary action. This policy supports our commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of our students, and it encourages them to get the help they need.”

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.