fentanyl 073123SPRINGFIELD – Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, high school students will be required to learn about the dangers of fentanyl thanks to a new law supported by State Senator Laura Ellman.

“In order to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic on all fronts we need to educate our most vulnerable populations, which includes young people,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “The age of fentanyl exposure is younger than we think. Educating high school students on the dangers of fentanyl in their health classes is the next step in ending the opioid epidemic.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, a lethal dose of fentanyl is smaller than a drop of water. Opioids, including fentanyl, heroin, and other drugs are involved in 70% of fatal drug overdoses.

Currently, elementary and high school health classes are required to discuss consumer health, personal health habits and substance use, but they are not required to provide specific instruction on fentanyl or other synthetic opioids.

Ellman’s new law requires all Illinois high school students enrolled in a required health course to learn about the dangers of fentanyl and fentanyl contamination.

“The increase in opioid related deaths each year is a sign that we have yet to close in on the underlying issues that lead to opioid use,” said Ellman. “This new law brings education to our young Illinoisans. By educating them, we are paving the way for overdoses and deaths to decrease.”

House Bill 3924 was signed into law Friday.


PHOTO: The size of a fatal dose of fentanyl.