Lamont Butler, SDSU Basketball teammates star Fentanyl awareness campaign

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The San Diego State University men's basketball team is partnering with San Diego's U.S. Attorney's Office, the San Diego City Attorney's Office and nonprofit MESA to launch a social media campaign aimed at bringing awareness to the dangers of fentanyl, it was announced Monday.

In a series of public service announcements posted to Instagram, X, Snapchat, LinkedIn and YouTube, members of the 2023-24 Aztecs basketball team -- including several players who played in the 2023 NCAA national championship game -- discuss the potentially fatal consequences of using fentanyl.

The videos touch on fentanyl's presence in many other drugs and the importance of having Narcan available to prevent deadly overdoses.

In announcing the campaign's launch, San Diego Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Haden said, "We are willing to do whatever it takes to save lives and spread the word that fentanyl is still claiming many lives, and every one of us can and must take action to prevent fatal overdoses. I'd like to thank the incredible SDSU student-athletes, who did not hesitate to answer our call for help. They have graciously used their celebrity and influence for the most important cause: Keeping fellow students from making a fatal mistake with fentanyl."

The campaign was timed to launch Monday, which is National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day. Local prosecutors also held a presentation for SDSU resident advisors and student leaders this month regarding how to recognize signs of an overdose and how to properly administer Narcan.

"As the city's prosecutor and the mother of two teenagers, I am extremely proud to participate in a campaign that informs our youth about the risks associated with fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic opioid," said San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott. "Unbeknownst to most, fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Its availability has so increased that it's now the number one killer in the nation for those between the ages of 18-and-45. We must ensure the truth about fentanyl reaches susceptible children and young adults before the drug does."

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