BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition (SCADC) is aiming to raise awareness about fentanyl.

The group hosted a presentation for Tennessee High School parents and students to teach them the dangers of the deadly drug.

SCADC Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist Brooke Burleson said that the concern regarding fentanyl continues to grow locally and globally.

She said that it’s a worldwide problem that hits right here at home.

“I see substance abuse as a problem worldwide at this point,” Burleson said. “Opioid overdoses are a pandemic really.”

According to the CDC, over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

SCADC Director Alice McCaffrey said Illegal drug use among youth has changed over the years and has become far more deadly.

“The drugs that are out there today are more addictive than they’ve ever been,” McCaffrey said. “Addiction is a terrible thing to go through.”

Burleson is a peer coach who has lived through addiction. She said that it’s important to give young people a true idea of the struggles of living with addiction.

“There’s is no substitute for it,” Burleson said. “Being able to be real and raw and emotional and connect with kids.”

The forum was available for students and parents. McCaffrey said that it’s particularly important for parents because there’s no worse news than to learn that your child has died due to an overdose.

“There is nothing that doesn’t come from a pharmacy with their name on the prescription bottle that is safe for them to take,” McCaffrey said.