Oregon has lost several students to fentanyl in the last few years. Linked below are fact sheets to help educate students, parents and the community about the dangers of fake pills made from deadly fentanyl.
Fentanyl being disguised as candy
Fentanyl is currently very common in our community; it is a powerful synthetic opioid that is like morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl is odorless, tasteless and colorless. Young people think they are taking “blues,” OxyContin or Xanax, but they are often taking pills laced with fentanyl. Recently, law enforcement agencies have also warned about the danger of fentanyl being disguised as candy, specifically targeted to be sold to children.
Talking to your student is the best prevention
The best prevention is talking to your student about never taking any medication that doesn’t come from their doctor. This includes never taking pills, even from friends. This is a conversation that can literally save your child’s life.
One pill has the potential to be deadly.
Other prevention strategies
One of the best ways to protect youth from substances is by having open communication and educating them on the risks of substance use. Listening to them without judging is a critical tool you can provide as their trusted adult.
Look for changes in behavior
Look out for changes in behavior, such as irregular eating or sleeping patterns, low energy, general signs of depression or anxiety, unusual irritability, slipping grades, lack of interest in activities they love, and even drastic clothing style changes. Trust your instincts. If you notice a change, ask about it.
Monitor social media
Talk to your child and monitor their social media use. The online environment provides platforms for people to sell substances. Substances can be offered by someone met online.