HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A 17-year-old boy died of a suspected drug overdose in Highlands Ranch Tuesday, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies said the boy was found around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday in a house on Dampler Way, which is in the area of University Boulevard and Wildcat Reserve Parkway. The sheriff's office has not yet released his name.
Deputies said they are in the early stages of their investigation, but they believe the boy died of an overdose. They said evidence at the scene indicates fentanyl may have been involved.
The coroner's office will determine how the boy died.
The boy's death comes as several teens across the state have died of fentanyl overdoses over the past few months.
A student at Alameda International High School in Lakewood died last week from an accidental fentanyl overdose, according to a letter sent to parents by the school principal. Kimberly Jimenez Figueroa, 16, died at a home in Lakewood over spring break, the letter said.
In Colorado Springs, charges have been filed against multiple suspects in connection with fentanyl deaths.
Alexis Wilkins is charged with distributing fentanyl resulting in death after investigators found evidence that she sold one or two pills containing fentanyl to two girls in a mall parking lot on Dec. 2. One of the girls died in class at Mitchell High School after taking at least a portion of the pill, according to court documents.
Another Colorado Springs woman, Marie Davis-Conchie, is facing charges after her 16-year-old son died after taking a pill containing fentanyl in January, according to court documents. Two other suspects are also charged in connection with that case.
SUICIDE & MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support for those in crisis 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
There are four ways to get confidential and immediate help: by phone at 1-844-493-8255, over text message (text the word “TALK” to 38255), via an online chat service, or at walk-in centers throughout metro Denver, northern, the southeast region and the western slope. Many of these services are available 24/7.
Trained counselors are available to help with relationship problems, depression, bullying, stress, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, family crisis and more.
This advocacy organization hosts a variety of online mental health screening in both English and Spanish, a mental health toolkit for schools, a page dedicated to the latest mental health research, as well as a variety of events throughout the year.
Using this link, you can find the community mental health center nearest to you. All of the centers accept Medicaid and most have sliding payment options for those who do not have insurance.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE RESOURCES
Find meetings throughout Colorado as well as information about the program and other services and events put on by AA.
A division of UCHealth, CeDAR offers 30- to 120-day residential treatment programs, outpatient treatment programs, medically-supervised detox programs, and recovery management.
The Substance Abuse Treatment, Education and Prevention Program was established specifically to help teens and young adults from 11 to 24 years of age. It offers a 12-week outpatient program on the campus of Denver Health and in several Denver Public Schools.
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