Texas AG Ken Paxton announces program aimed to combat opioid epidemic

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his new coalition announced a pilot program aimed at combating the opioid epidemic.

The pilot program "Friday Night Lights Against Opioids" is geared toward stopping the drug epidemic among teens, especially among student-athletes.

In 2021, there were 5,033 deaths in Texas which is a 60 percent increase from 2019.

Texas currently ranks in the top 5 states for opioid deaths, and Paxton said deaths among teens have increased nationwide by 94 percent since 2019. Due to the increase, the program was created.

Over 3.5 million at-home medication/drug disposal packets will be passed out by student-athletes, teachers and community leaders at high school football games.

"The opioid and fentanyl crisis are monumental threats to the health and well-being of all Texans, and especially our young people. Opioids are a gateway drug to bigger problems like heroin and human trafficking, and most opioid misuse began with sports injuries or people taking drugs from friends of family members. Combating the skyrocketing, skyrocketing opioid crisis has always been a top priority," Paxton said, during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Packets will be distributed at all remaining home football games for the regular-season.