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caption: FILE - This June 17, 2019, file photo shows 5-mg pills of Oxycodone.
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FILE - This June 17, 2019, file photo shows 5-mg pills of Oxycodone.
Credit: AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File

After three teen deaths, local schools warn families about illicit pills

After three student overdose deaths in the Seattle area, school administrators and public-health officials are warning parents to talk with their children about drugs.

The latest death was a 17-year-old student who attended Ballard High School.

Drug prevention messages are a part of Seattle Public Schools curriculum, but the recent deaths from fentanyl are adding an urgency to the message.

Lisa Davidson, Seattle Public School’s manager of prevention and intervention, says the most influential messages come from home.

“Kids tell us that their parents are the number one influence on whether they use drugs or not," she said.

"They try to play it cool like we’re not. But when they’re asked they actually do say: my family values, my family beliefs, what my parents expect of me."

The deadly pills looked like an opioid painkiller, like oxycodone, but actually contained a much more powerful drug, fentanyl. The drug is also turning up as a powder.

Davidson adds that the majority of students in Seattle Public Schools are not using drugs and alcohol.

Next week she plans to talk with school administrators about creating age and culturally messaging for students and families.