The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    Know the signs, save a life, save a seawolf

    Trevor Leopold was only 15 when he was introduced to cannabis. After a three year battle with addiction, Trevor was found dead in his dorm room after taking a pill containing a lethal amount of fentanyl. He was just 18 years old. 

    Four years later, Trevor’s mother, Michelle Leopold returns to Sonoma State for the first time since her son’s death to educate students, faculty, and the community about fentanyl. 

    “It’s weird”. Said Leopold referring to being back on campus. “Last time I was here, I was at the police station picking up two boxes of evidence”.

    Leopold describes Trevor as an adventurous boy. His spirit animal is a “mountain goat.” 

    Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for young people in America. It is linked to psychosis, suicide, and driving under the influence. Many teens and young adults are purchasing drugs containing Fentanyl on social media platforms, according to Parents Together Action. 

    The event “One Pill Can Kill” is part of a series of programs that are part of SSU’s Save A Seawolf: Fentanyl and Other Drug Awareness Month. The focus of the event was to spread awareness and provide tools for students to use to help others. 

    “This month is part of a larger effort to educate on Alcohol and Other Drugs and is in part, hosted by the AOD Committee In the Division of Student Affairs,” stated Mo Phillips, director of student involvement. 

    While the fentanyl epidemic is continuing to grow, there are ways students can help someone who is suffering from fentanyl poisoning. 

    One solution is to carry Narcan, which is a nasal spray used to reverse the deadly effects of fentanyl or other opioid drugs. 

    Narcan is available for free at the Student Health Center on campus stated Laura Williams, director of CAPS. To obtain Narcan, all that is required is a brief training on how to use it. 

    Leopold believes that Trevor might still be alive if only his friend who was with him had narcan and knew the signs of fentanyl poisoning. 

    “I’m going to get Narcan from the health center,” said Veda Dean, third year communications student who attended the event. 

    Leopold explains in her presentation that marijuana today contains a higher pH than what it used to have and often has fentanyl in it. 

    Jayden Uhl, a third year history student states that he knew today’s marijuana is different from previous generations, however, he did not understand the extent of this difference. 

    While students were taught about drugs in ninth grade health class, fentanyl didn’t really exist which is why many young people today are unaware of its deadly effects. 

    Leopold advocates for students to be educated users if they choose to use substances like maijuana. 

    “I believe in education…sharing what happened with him and hoping other people should learn from their mistakes…young adults should learn from their mistakes, not die from them,” said Leopold

    Leopold hopes that people learn to say “K-N-O-W” and understand what is in the substances they are putting into their bodies. 

    “Speaking out about Trevor keeps him close at heart, and I also share his story to keep other parents from being part of this horrific club no mother or father ever wants to join. I am grateful for opportunities to use Trevor’s story to help others, and I hope that by speaking out, it helps others,” stated Leopold.

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