Fentanyl, the modern lethal drug


Juan Manosalva

Students and faculty attend the fentanyl training event, April 6. Attendees learned about the dangers of Fentanyl and how to fight it in a school setting.

The MSU Counseling Center partnered with the Greenbelt Counseling Association and Texas Counseling Association to host a Fentanyl Crisis Continuing Education Training Thursday, April 6, in the MSU Legacy Multipurpose Room. 

Wendy Helmcamp, Greenbelt Counseling Association vice president, said fentanyl is a new popular drug that is extremely dangerous. 

“When you take it there is a 50/50 chance to live or die and just a tiny bit is enough to kill you,” Helmcamp said.

Fentanyl is used mostly by people between ages 12 to 44, meaning it poses a risk to college students. To make people aware of fentanyl and its risks, there were three speakers invited to the event: Lisa Williams, Cooper McClung and Sarah Lucas. All of them are licensed professional counselors, which is one of the groups the event targeted. 

Helmcamp said the event was for any mental health workers.

“Counselors, psychologists, social workers and anybody with their mental health license can come and get their continuing education credits for their license renewal, considering they need 24 credits hours every two years and this event is offering 1.5 credits,” Helmcamp said, later adding, “This is a real serious issue that is killing people, so everyone in MSU campus was invited to attend this event.” 

This was the first collaboration between Greenbelt and the counseling center this year. 

Tara Fox, Greenbelt Counseling Association president, said the association has a goal to make three to four presentations of continuing education hours. The first event brought in top speakers and snacks for all the audience to feel comfortable and involved in the presentation. Speaker Cooper McClung prepared a presentation called “Killing the Pain of Fentanyl.” In the presentation, he shared facts of how lethal fentanyl is, how it affects human body, some techniques of how to fight against the drug and real testimonies from people who have experienced fentanyl dangers. 

McClung said the presentation went well and he felt it had an impact on the audience.

Wichita Falls High School Student Support Counselor Cooper McClung speaks to attendees on his presentation "Killing the Pain of Fentanyl," April 6.
Wichita Falls High School Student Support Counselor Cooper McClung speaks to attendees on his presentation “Killing the Pain of Fentanyl,” April 6. (Juan Manosalva)

“The presentation goes very well, we had really good questions from the audience, they were taking notes and pictures, showing everyone is very involved with us, which make us feel that all the effort really worth it,” McClung said.

Hayley Turnquist, clinical mental health student, said she felt the event was helpful as she gains knowledge in the field. 

“I think MSU did a really great job organizing this event, I get multiple emails from several sources promoting the event, it was easy to sign in, the speakers did a really good job providing clarity of the crisis and because it is a hard topic to talk about having things like this helps to bring awareness of a topic everyone should be informed about,” Turnquist said.

MSU counseling center assistant director Zachary Zoet said the event was what MSU expected.

 “It was a good event with good information about the topic, which allowed us to serve all our students and keep them safe,” Zoet said.