Special to the Village News
Fentanyl remains a significant threat throughout the state. Illegally made fentanyl is available on the drug market in different forms. The powder version is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and made into pills that resemble prescription pain medication.
Recreational drug use has become even more dangerous, especially if young people begin experimenting.
In 2021, in California, there were nearly 6,000 opioid-related overdose deaths. Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine.
Resources like the Senior’s Guide to Fentanyl and local drug education are vital in helping keep people informed and aware of the risks. Grandparents should speak to their grandchildren about fentanyl and other drugs, helping them understand the risks.
Keep things age appropriate and use language that is easy for a child or teen to understand. There are different ways to discuss the topic depending on their age.
When speaking to teens or young adults, for example, ask open-ended questions like: “What do you know about fentanyl?” Or “What are your thoughts on drug use?” “Are you concerned about someone offering you drugs?”
This can help start a conversation and fill the void with factual information about fentanyl and its risks.
Share personal experiences and examples of peer pressure and how it was managed. While the approaches to peer pressure are much different today because of social media, the practical methods of handling or avoiding it can still be applied.
Teens can often experience significant peer pressure online through their social media platforms. Social media also glorifies drug and alcohol use.
Please encourage them to speak to their parents or caregivers and help them create a trusting environment with the people they live with. Get them to ask questions and voice their opinions, as this becomes the best way to share ideas and gain knowledge.
Grandparents can have a positive influence on the lives of their grandchildren. Everyone can stay informed regardless of age. The opioid epidemic has shown no signs of slowing down. Fentanyl is currently being mixed with Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer found in the illicit drug supply.
The conversations you have now with your grandchildren can help them. Suppose they are young adults; the information would help them make informed and responsible decisions and avoid dangerous situations.
Marie Garceau has been working in the field of substance use and addiction recovery for over a decade. Her primary focus is to reach out to the community and spread awareness. She does this to educate others about the dangers of drug use and help them make informed decisions.