WVU’s Mountaineer Fetanyl Education Taskforce wrapping up first semester of operations

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An education taskforce on fentanyl dangers created by West Virginia University students is ready to wrap up it’s first semester of operations. The Mountaineer Fetanyl Education Taskforce is looking ahead as they identify new ways to reach the student body and members of the at-large about the dangers of fentanyl.

“I know for me and the students who are involved with me, it’s been really inspiring to see just how willing students are to step up and try and help save lives,” said Mountaineer Fentanyl Education Taskforce Co-Chair Azeem Khan

Khan said they are interacting with the students “where they are.” and have connected with over 70,000 social media accounts and hosted meetings with student groups. All of these efforts will continue as the fall semester wraps up and into the spring semester.

“We visited student organizations, we’ve tabled at the Mountainlair, we’ve partnered with the Mountaineer Maniacs and tabled at events that they’re having,” said Khan on some of the interactions the taskforce has made this semester. “We’ve visited fraternities and sororities, we’re trying to meet students where they are to bring this message that they have,” he said.

For the Mountaineer Fentanyl Education Taskforce, the start of final exams for WVU students is a crucial time to bring fentanyl education to the forefront. Khan said finals week on colleges campuses is a critical week to get message of safety out to the student body. The recent seizure of “rainbow fentanyl” is proof the drug is here and motivation to keep the efforts up. Khan believes the education part of the campaign is very important at this moment as students deals with the pressures of finals.

“What we try to share with the people that we talk with is that in today’s world, you cannot trust a pill if it doesn’t come from a pharmacy,” said Khan on WAJR’s Talk of the Town. “And so if you buy any sort of pill on the street, you have to assume that it’s not safe, its’ a counterfeit pill and that it has a chance that it actually contains fentanyl,” he said.

Task force members will meet with co-chair, U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of West Virginia BIll Ihlenfeld at the end of the semester to review the first semester of operations and plan for the coming months. The group will also meet with WVU officials and colleges across the country to share information and learn new approaches to fentanyl education.

“What we’re hoping to do here at the end of the semester, is we’re going to begin a process of reviewing everything we’ve done,” said Khan. “What have we done well, what can we improve on, and we’re going to sue that to try and tell the story of what we’ve done over the past six months or so,” he said.