North Texas deaths, Governor’s letter brings renewed focus on Fentanyl crisis

Wichita Falls police discovered three people dead over the weekend, including a college student from College Station.
Wichita Falls police discovered three people dead over the weekend, including a college student...
Wichita Falls police discovered three people dead over the weekend, including a college student from College Station.(KBTX)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 8:32 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Wichita Falls police discovered three people dead over the weekend. All are believed to have suffered Fentanyl overdoses.

One of the people police discovered, Adam Sattler, 21, was a student at Midwestern State University and is from College Station.

Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to nine state agency heads directing them to step up their efforts in what he calls a “Fentanyl Crisis.”

In the letter, addressed to the head of the Texas Education Agency, Department of Public Safety, and Department of State Health Services, among others, Abbott says more than 71,000 Americans died from fentanyl in 2021, with provisional data showing 1,672 deaths in Texas.

The tragedies in Wichita Falls and the letter from the Governor bring a renewed focus to the dangers of the drug.

However, Joshua Stone, the TDCJ Program Director with the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse says fentanyl isn’t something we’re seeing in the Brazos Valley.

“I think part of it, at least in the area, has to do with the type of drugs that are popular in our area. I hate to say it, with us being a college town, usually it’s more of uppers, whereas fentanyl is an opioid, a synthetic opioid.”

Stone says drug dealers are using fentanyl to lace other drugs and with it being 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, a small amount could prove fatal.

“It slows down the heart and everything like that, and with Fentanyl being so much more powerful, it’s easy to see how it could cause major complications,” Stone said.

The Governor’s letter directs the heads of the agencies to outline what steps they intend to take and present those to the state legislature when it reconvenes in 2023.