Recently, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued a warning to parents and caregivers to be on the lookout for fake pills.
This is due to an increase in fentanyl deaths and the serious effects it causes those who consume fake pills laced with drugs. According to the DEA, cartels and gangs are making fentanyl and pressing them into fake pills. Fake pills are made to look like OxyContin, Xanax, Adderall, and other pharmaceuticals.
“These fake pills contain no legitimate medicine,” said DEA officials. “Fentanyl is also made in a rainbow of colors so it looks like candy.”
This causes a concern for parents, as children can find or receive the fake pills and mistake them for candy causing severe side effects.
The DEA went on to state, that according to lab testing, fentanyl is dangerous as four out of every ten pills with the substance contains a potentially lethal dose.
According to the CDC, pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. In its prescription form it is legal, however, due to its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl misuse can cause confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, changes in pupil size, cold and clammy skin, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death.
How would my child get fentanyl?
Drug traffickers are using social media to advertise drugs and conduct sales. If you have a smartphone and a social media account, then a drug trafficker can find you. This also means they are finding your kids who have social media accounts.
“The drug landscape is dramatically different from when you (parents) grew up, or even from just a few years ago,” said DEA officials. “All parents and caregivers need to be educated on current drug threats to be able to have informed talks with their kids.
The DEA guidance provides some tips for parents and caregivers who have children, in an effort, to keep them protected from Fentanyl.
· Encourage open and honest communication
· Explain what fentanyl is and why it is so dangerous
· Stress not to take any pills that were not prescribed to you from a doctor
· No pill purchased on social media is safe
· Make sure they know fentanyl has been found in most illegal drugs
· Create an “exit plan” to help your child know what to do if they’re pressured to take a pill or use drugs.
For more tips on how to talk to your child about drugs, read Chapter 4 of Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent’s Guide to Substance Use Prevention at www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com/publications.