News & Stories

Texan mother fights for stronger drug laws, impacting state's fentanyl crisis

By Mariza Mendoza

Watch full interview here

SAN ANTONIO - For months now, we’ve been bringing you stories about the opioid crisis and the initiatives to combat drugs in our state.

The new efforts include a $10 million awareness campaign, as well as state laws passed to promote drug education in schools.

"My daughter’s death was not an accident she unknowingly took something that had fentanyl in it," says mother Veronica Kaprosy.

We brought you this story last September, Danica Kaprosy died after taking what she thought was a sleeping pill laced with Fentanyl. Since her death, her mother has been pushing state officials to get tougher on drug dealers.

"One life is being lost in death, and the other life will be lost in prison drug dealers as young as 17, 18 that’s a loss of life as well," says Kaprosy.

Over the years 2019 to 2021, overdose deaths involving Fentanyl in the state rose nearly 400%. But passing Fentanyl-related laws like HB 6, which would let prosecutors pursue murder charges in Fentanyl deaths is helping bring illicit drug use down in the state.

“If we don’t talk about it people won’t know,” Tara Karns-Wright, PhD, Senior Dir. of Be Well Texas UT Health San Antonio.

Karns-Wright says aggressive campaigns like One Pill Kills or laws that increase awareness of the dangers of drug overdoses in schools help spread awareness to students.

“It is really important that we're putting that programming into schools and educating our kids and making sure that these risks exist," says Karns-Wright.

These numbers show that statewide Fentanyl poisoning-related deaths have increased since 2014, but you can see a dip from 2022 to 2023. Karns-Wright says talking more about the dangers of drugs should help bring those numbers down more.

"The way we talk about it is a chronic health disorder just like having high blood pressure or diabetes it's just really important we keep talking about it and we keep the message well known to everyone,” says Karns-Wright.