Protecting Your Teen from Fentanyl: Here’s What You Need to Know

Opioid use has grown rapidly among teen and young adults in the United States. Parents need to learn how to recognize the signs of prescription drug abuse, but there’s an even more dangerous killer on the loose: fentanyl. Understanding the risks of fentanyl and its effect can help parents educate their teens on staying away from this deadly drug. 

A report from HealthDay detailed how opioid-related deaths quadrupled from 2001 to 2016. Many opioid addictions begin with prescription drugs, but recent studies have shown that synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, have overtaken prescription drugs as the most common fatal drug overdose cause in the U.S. Since 2013, young adult overdoses caused by synthetic opioids has risen over 300%. The interesting twist is that teen and young adult users know that their drugs are contaminated.

A study shows that young adults know the danger of fentanyl.

Fentanyl is often manufactured in conjunction with heroin and other substances. When those drugs are contaminated with fentanyl, the risk of overdose dramatically increases. A study in Rhode Island demonstrated that young adults who use drugs are willing to test for fentanyl because they know the overdose dangers associated with the drug. Researchers are hopeful that the positive behavior of avoiding certain drugs will lead to other positive steps in the fight against overdoses and drug abuse.

What are the risks of fentanyl?

Fentanyl is dangerous because it’s synthetic and treating fentanyl overdoses with Naloxone may not be enough. Here are some other risks associated with this deadly drug:

  • Fentanyl is cheap to produce and is often used to bolster similar drugs. Drug dealers will pad other narcotics like OxyContin, hydrocodone, and heroin with fentanyl. Users may think they’re getting one thing when they’re actually buying deadly fentanyl.
  • This drug is 100 times stronger than morphine or heroin. Like many opioids, it’s used to treat severe pain or to help patients manage their pain post-op.
  • Law enforcement is considering fentanyl to be the third-wave of the opioid crisis. Getting your addicted loved one into treatment is more critical than ever because of this hidden killer.

If you suspect your teen is experimenting with opioids, Test Smartly Labs provides accurate and confidential drug testing. Call (816) 800-9699 or contact Test Smartly Labs today. We provide appointments at any of our 5 Kansas City area locations.

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