Teenagers and Fentanyl
One of the strangest things in our country is the attitude towards teenagers experimenting with drugs as though it is some cultural norm. I have heard stories from nonaddicts who tried weed, alcohol, cocaine, or hallucinogens when they were in their teens. This is alarming, especially when the explanation is they were experimenting or finding themselves. This is just bizarre considering the fact they KNOW using drugs is wrong. Somehow using drugs to “find yourself” provides justification for a bad action.
Now consider the fact there is currently a widespread drug in America that gets mixed into many street drugs and has added gas to the fire that is the opiate epidemic. That drug is Fentanyl.
To get a better understanding of just how deadly this drug is, look at this excerpt from the Center for Disease Control’s website:
“Synthetic opioid-involved death rates increased by 10% from 2017 to 2018 and accounted for 67% of opioid-involved deaths in 2018.” —CDC
The most common illicit drug used during the “experimental phase” is marijuana. If you look up fentanyl-laced weed, you will notice recent cases of individuals overdosing because their marijuana was laced with drugs. Similarly, if you look up teen overdose death, you will be flooded by news reports of teens overdosing and dying due to fentanyl. Many of them were taking drugs they thought were something else, whether marijuana or pressed pills.
Therefore, it is essential to educate your kids about the dangers of drug use and this “experimental phase.” As difficult as it might be to have this talk with your kids, it is a million times easier than visiting them in the hospital following an overdose or burying them.
It will be over a year before the overdose statistics from 2020 are announced. However, we do have the Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts from the CDC covering the early months of 2020. The report shows an increase in the first four months of this year compared to the year before. This points to 2020 being another year where drug overdose deaths increased.
This is why it is still so crucial for everyone to be educated on both the signs of drug addiction and what to do in the event of a drug overdose. Getting treatment for those struggling with substance abuse and preventing deaths from drug overdose is something everyone can have a part in doing.
We have educational resources available for what to do in the event of an overdose:
We also have guides on intervention if one of your loved ones is unwilling to get the help they need: