Gov. Abbott announces $10M campaign on fentanyl dangers, statewide distribution of Narcan

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a $10 million multimedia campaign for outreach on the dangers of fentanyl as well as statewide distribution of Narcan.

This came after he hosted the "One Pill Kills" summit, a discussion on what can be done to curb deaths in the state.

Abbott says the campaign will be across TV, streaming services, radio, online, and social media platforms. 

He says there will be an initial 20,000 units of Narcan for sheriff's offices in every county to distribute locally. The money for the supply comes from a settlement from Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The summit brought together families affected by fentanyl, law enforcement, and state leaders.

Stefanie Turner, founder of Texas Against Fentanyl, lost her son 18 months ago. 

"I had a very close relationship with Tucker, and I thought to myself, 'if this can happen to Tucker who shares and talks openly with me, then it could happen to any parent,'" she said.

"I want a COVID-like response to this crisis," Veronica Kaprosy, who lost her daughter to fentanyl, said.

"Parents, you have got to be aware of the language our kids are using," Zapata County Sheriff Ray Del Bosque said, referring to exchanges on social media.

"Our narcotics agents are having to learn how to infiltrate social media," Mike McDaniel, Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area director, said.


Abbott says last year, 2,012 Texans lost their lives due to fentanyl.

"This session I want to sign laws that will classify fentanyl as poisoning, making it a murder charge to knowingly provide fentanyl-laced drugs that kills somebody," he said. "I also issued an executive order designating the Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations and order the [Department of Public Safety] to take action against those cartels to keep them out of our state."

State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) says lawmakers have designed a package of bipartisan legislation to improve outreach, access to Narcan in schools and for first responders. He also says they're working on legislation to stop the flow of fentanyl into the state.

"[That way], when we leave Austin at the end of May, the citizens of Texas are much better protected against the ongoing fentanyl epidemic," he said.

On the federal level, the FDA recently approved over the counter Narcan. The Biden-Harris administration also says they've taken steps to expand access to Narcan and other harm reduction interventions.