Rural communities struggle to offer help to youth on the verge of the fentanyl epidemic

Seguin – The fentanyl epidemic is at the doorsteps of rural communities, where getting support and help for those facing addiction is more difficult.

Jack Housworth, director of substance use services at Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, said his agency partners with eight independent school districts in Guadalupe and Gonzalez Counties to provide mental health, disability services and substance abuse programs to students and families.

“We do a screening and an assessment to determine the eligibility and see if they’re eligible for substance use services paid for by the state of Texas,” he said.

This partnership is available to any school district that reaches out for help.

Seguin ISD Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez said this board can’t deny there’s a problem, and that’s why the district has extended its partnership for services with Bluebonnet Trails.

“We’re all hearing about the, the impacts of fentanyl,” he said.

He urges school districts to seek help before it’s too late.

“If you’re not seeing the impact of fentanyl or some of these other substances yet, there’s a high likelihood that you will,” he said.

Housworth said helping youth with addiction will help them avoid an adulthood of unresolved issues.

“If they’re not dealt with at the adolescent level and…they just get worse and worse and worse,” he said.

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