Skyline teens create their own PSA to warn of dangers of fentanyl after 2 students OD

Data from The King County Medical Examiner shows that so far this year, almost 160 people have died from a fentanyl overdose.  

Despite public awareness campaigns like the Drug Enforcement Administration's ‘One Pill Can Kill,’ two seniors at Skyline High School say the issue of drugs and overdoses are "kind of a taboo topic" to discuss at school. 

Nathan Pan and Tanisha Kshirsagar attend the same school where two 16-year-old boys died from an overdose in 2019. The community was heartbroken.

Both teens, Tom Beatty and Lucas Beirer, died from fentanyl poisoning after taking counterfeit OxyContin pills. 

Now, Pan and Kshirsagar, who were in middle school when their deaths occurred, are trying to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl with a PSA they produced for their senior class project, hoping the video will save the lives of their classmates.

The PSA has a powerful message: "Reality doesn't reverse like you only have one chance," said Pan.

Pan and Kshirsagar are the stars of the PSA. 

In the video, Kshirsagar sees Pan alone at a party and encourages him to join in on the fun. She introduces the pills, urging him to 'take it, take it'. Their goal is to emphasize the peer pressure that exists in these environments.  

"There are people who are like, ingesting alcohol and drugs and things like that. And it's just super normalized in an environment like that," she said.

Pan gives into the pressure, and the video shows the dangerous consequences of his decision.   

"The editors and directors added sounds and effects to highlight the overdose symptoms, such as dizziness and fainting," said Pan.  

The video continues with Pan falling to the ground as his heartbeat flatlines. It serves as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of fentanyl use.


"One of our main messages is basically to address that fact of it, like you shouldn't be going to gatherings or things like that, or going into places where you're feeling uncomfortable. And then, the second part of it was definitely like, if you are an environment like this, know how to kind of be aware of your surroundings and when to say no," said Kshirsagar.

The video includes a powerful moment where the clock starts to rewind, encouraging teens to make a different choice the next time they are offered drugs.  

Pan explains that their ultimate goal is to bring awareness to this issue, especially among teenagers.

"We're young and we want to have fun, and we want to, you know, go out and have all these parties. But we also need to recognize this is a risk. And there are things that we need to be aware of.  You only have one chance, and we don't want it to end now. And we want everyone to be safe," said Pan.

When asked if other teens will accept this message more from their peers than from figures of authority, Kshirsagar believes hearing it from someone who has gone through similar experiences creates a stronger connection.

"It's more connective between peer to peer, rather than hearing it from a higher authority figure," she said.

You can watch the full video of their PSA here.