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EDUCATOR TOOLKIT

WHY DEAD ON ARRIVAL?

Dead On Arrival, first showcased in 2021, is a 20-minute film that shares from a first-person point of view the devastating truth of how fentanyl poisoning is impacting families across the nation.

The original film goes inside the homes of four families as they recount the tragic loss of their children due to fentanyl poisoning. The film accurately depicts how fentanyl is impacting every demographic in our communities across the United States. 

One cannot argue the pain and anguish that families who’ve lost a loved one to fentanyl poisoning continue to experience as fentanyl seeps its way into our communities. Dead On Arrival sheds profound light on the ease and access children and teens have where drug dealers on social media apps operate in an open-air drug market. It depicts the lethality in the manufacturing of fake pills created to look like pharmaceutical-grade prescription pills and fentanyl-laced powders in hopes of sparking conversations among parents & caregivers with their children before they fall victim to fentanyl poisoning.

What Can You As An Educator Do?

It is a well-known fact, that education and prevention are pivotal in instilling healthy alternatives where today’s youth are concerned. When our youth are given the facts accurately and concisely by a trusted adult or parent, they are then able to make healthier choices for themselves. As an educator, you may have that critical impact on your students where the fentanyl pandemic is concerned.

Today, more than ever, we are finding that our youth and parents are still not properly educated in regard to illicit fentanyl. There is also a large amount of our youth and parents who still have not heard about illicit fentanyl and how it is killing our youth. Dead On Arrival coupled with an open, guided discussion changes that narrative.

By sharing Dead On Arrival you are helping save lives. You are helping parents save their children’s lives. You are protecting our future generation.  

We understand and have taken into consideration all that you and your respective States Board of Education have planned for your students. We understand that your time is limited. We thank you for taking into consideration showing this documentary to your students. We are essentially in a race against time in all of our efforts to prevent any further loss of our youth. 

Again, we understand and are taking into consideration all that you as an educator are faced with. In an effort to reach beyond your classroom, may you consider holding a general assembly at each grade level.

Recommendations For Viewing With Students

  1. Preview English or Spanish versions of Dead On Arrival.
  2. Set aside time to view the film with your students. You may choose if time allows, to view the film in its entirety, or break it up into segments.
  3. As an educator, you know what is best for your students. We have provided several discussion questions that we have found effective in having an open dialogue with students that have viewed this presentation. We recommend the following ways to further the discussion; a written essay in which your student expresses their thoughts on the subject matter, an open classroom Q&A session, or a combination of the two.

How You Can Engage Parents

  1. Send this information home with your students at the beginning or end of the school year.
  2. Share this information during school orientation or during school conferences.
  3. Share this information with parents in a letter sent home with your student’s homework.

For Parents

You may or may not have heard of illicit fentanyl by now. If you haven’t, it is very likely, your children haven’t either. The fentanyl pandemic is increasingly growing with each passing day.

Today is the day we recommend having that discussion with your child(ren).

As parents ourselves, we realize that both our schedules and our kids’ schedules can be busy. For teenagers, we understand how uncool it may seem for them to sit down and watch a film such as Dead On Arrival. 

Whether you’re a volunteer, a sports coach, a mentor, a member of the PTA or school board, a Boy Scout, or a Girl Scout leader, these are all amazing opportunities to educate your youth and their parents.  It takes very little time to have a conversation to educate those around you, especially our youth.

The topic of fentanyl poisoning has been pushed aside for quite some time. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in fentanyl poisonings with each passing year. Currently, fentanyl poisoning is the leading cause of death for those aged 14-45. By not having these conversations, parents and children are not aware of what illicit fentanyl is, how easily it can be found at the tap of a few buttons on social media apps that our children use every day and the lethality of this deadly poison.

We encourage you to watch both Dead On Arrival films with your children and the youth you interact with on a daily basis in your life. Learn about the dangers of illicit fentanyl. Have a conversation with your children about the dangers of illicit fentanyl. Learn the signs of an overdose and how to reverse the effects of an overdose by using Narcan.

Share Dead On Arrival with those you know and love. In doing so, you are helping save lives. You are protecting our future generations to come.

Before You Start

We recommend that you preview both the long and short versions of Dead On Arrival before watching it with your children. By viewing this ahead of time, you will be better equipped to help your child(ren) process the information that they will be receiving as they watch it.

With the shortened version of Dead On Arrival, it is important to keep in mind that it has been shortened to reach deep within our children and ourselves by means of truthful statistics and imagery.

You and your child(ren) may have more questions after viewing the film(s). That’s great. Have your child keep a notebook close by to write down any questions or reactions they may have to discuss after the film.

While it is an important topic, it is also important to allow yourself or your child(ren) to take a break if needed while watching the film. If they need to step away for a moment, that is ok. If you are presenting to a larger group, you could enlist the help of additional adults to help guide the discussion or have counselors on hand to assist with any other needs of the children.

Introduction To Dead On Arrival

What is fentanyl? Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50–100 times more potent than morphine. Illicit fentanyl can be found mixed with heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, or other designer drugs. Fentanyl can also be found in fake pills that have been created to look like pharmaceutical-grade prescription drugs such as Percocet, Xanax, Adderall, Ketamine, and in some cases, Tylenol. Simply put, there is no safe supply of any drug out there.

We as parents and educators need to educate our children on the fact that if it is not a prescription, prescribed directly for them by a pharmacist or a medication administered to them by you, it is not safe. We must educate them on the dangers that 4 out of every 10 pills are fake and contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.

One cannot argue the pain and anguish that families who’ve lost a loved one to fentanyl poisoning continue to experience as fentanyl seeps its way into our communities. Dead On Arrival sheds profound light on the ease and access children and teens have where drug dealers on social media apps operate in an open-air drug market. It depicts the lethality in the manufacturing of fake pills created to look like pharmaceutical-grade prescription pills and fentanyl-laced powders in hopes of sparking conversations among parents & caregivers with their children before they fall victim to fentanyl poisoning.

Tips For A Healthy Discussion

Fentanyl poisoning is not a light subject for any person regardless of age. Give your child(ren)/student a moment to sit and process the film before starting the conversation. There are no right or wrong ways to open the discussion.

  • Before the film, ask your child(ren)/student what they currently know about fentanyl.
  • After viewing the film ask your child(ren)/student what do you now know about fentanyl?
  • Do you know someone who lost his or her life to fentanyl poisoning?
  • The start of the film depicts several situations our children are faced with every day while in school, at home, partaking in sports, or at work. What are their thoughts and input as to why youth may experiment or self-medicate with illicit substances?
  • Ask them what types of situations they may have been exposed to on social media apps (bullying, drug use, drug sales, sexual exploitation, etc.)
  • Either individually or in a group have them discuss how they would handle a situation in which a friend or someone they know is peer pressuring them into trying a substance that may contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.
  • Either individually or in a group have them discuss how they would react or speak to their friend who is considering trying a drug that may contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.
  • What are their key takeaways after watching this film?
  • How/will they share this film with their friends and family? What messaging will they include when sharing this film with their friends and family?
  • What healthier options are there versus experimenting or self-medicating?

Jaime Puerta is a United States Marine Corps Veteran, and the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Puerta & Associates, Inc.; a small Interpreting business that specializes in furnishing Certified Interpreters to Attorneys, Doctors, and Courts working within the Workman’s Compensation field in the State of California. He resides in Santa Clarita, California, with his wife Claudia. Jaime is also the President of V.O.I.D., "Victims Of Illicit Drugs", a California 501C non-profit dedicated to educating parents and children about the dangers of illicit drug use, and also about the dangers that abound on social media platforms. Jaime also sits on the Advisory Board of A.C.C.O. "The Alliance To Counter Crime Online". Jaime became involved in the fight against Fentanyl when his only son Daniel passed away due to Fentanyl Poisoning on April 6, 2020.

Jaime is an avid Harley Davidson enthusiast and rides his motorcycles whenever time permits him to do so.

Steve Filson was raised in Huntington Beach and has been a resident of San Bernardino since 1976 when he relocated there after his service in the U.S. Air Force. He retired in 2009 after a 31-year career with the San Bernardino County Sheriff and San Bernardino Police Department. Steve is the owner of a private security company and is a staff member of the Public Safety Academy, a public charter school in San Bernardino.|

Most importantly, Steve is Jessica’s Dad. Jessica was his 29-year-old daughter killed in Redlands on January 22, 2022, along with her boyfriend, Nicholas, due to fentanyl poisoning. Steve lives in Highland, California, with his wife, Cheri, and their five-year-old granddaughter, Elara. He and other bereaved parents formed V.O.I.D., “Victims of Illicit Drugs,” as a California non-profit corporation and dedicate their efforts to education and awareness of this fentanyl scourge confronting our society.

VOID
Victims of Illicit Drugs

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