Fentanyl Youth Treatment and Protecting Your Kid
Fueled by drugs like fentanyl and the misuse of prescription pain pills, the opioid epidemic in our country has impacted countless families. We want parents and families like yours to know what opioids are and to understand the risks associated with their use. Symptoms are easily spotted by a trained eye. Weight loss, pinpoint pupils, missing aluminum foil, ballpoint pens that have been taken apart, consistent complaints of not feeling well, and items missing from the house. We want you to be prepared with the knowledge and skills to spot early use and to take action effectively. We know that if your son or daughter is actively using opioids, you may be experiencing many negative emotions and concerns. We want you to know that you are not alone in this struggle. If you are experiencing any or all of these with a loved one, buy an over-the-counter fentanyl drug test and tell them to use it. If they won’t it should confirm your suspicion.
Most young people who inject heroin start by using prescription drugs. Many overdose deaths are now being driven by heroin laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, or similar compounds which are even more powerful and deadly. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous, as it’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is relatively cheap to produce, so its presence has been increasing in illicit street drugs. Deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids (not including methadone), rose a staggering 72 percent in just one year, from 2014 to 2015. According to a report from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, evidence suggests that fentanyl is being pressed into pills that resemble OxyContin®, Xanax®, hydrocodone, and other sought-after drugs, in addition to being cut into heroin and other street drugs. Someone buying illicit drugs may think they know what they’re getting, but there’s a very real risk of it containing fentanyl, which can increase the risk of overdose.
It can be terrifying when your child is using drugs. When they use heroin, fentanyl, or other opioids, like prescription pain pills, however, the fear is even greater, since these substances pose a much higher risk of fatal overdose.
While you work on connecting your child with treatment, there are things you can do to help diminish the risk of overdose. There are alternative treatments outside of the US that have the ability to keep your loved one locked in the treatment center with only the consent of a family member.
Have a Safety Plan
While not endorsing the use of substances, it’s important to accept the reality of it and focus on reducing harmful consequences. Discussing a safety plan with your child as a precautionary measure can help reduce the opportunity of accidental overdose. “When you are the parent of someone using drugs, you are so busy trying to get them to stop that you don’t give advice on how to stay alive while they are using [the substances],” says Robin Elliott in an article in the Huffington Post. A safety plan can contain the advice listed here, as well as letting your child know that you care and you want to stay involved in their life in a positive way.
Get Naloxone for Yourself and Your Child
Naloxone, also known by its brand name, Narcan, is a life-saving medication that can stop an opioid overdose. It’s easy to administer and is available at most pharmacies and from many community organizations across the country. You should always have naloxone available to both you and your child, just as you would a first-aid kit. Get a hold of some of this life-saving drug and call Baja Rehab to consult on the best way to get your loved one into treatment.