This information is valuable for staff, students and parents.
Betty Mitchell,
Kingsway Regional School District,
Woolwich Township, NJ
Medication Misuse: What You Need to Know to Help Protect Children, Teens and Young Adults
~ Partnership staff
Special Considerations When Seeking Substance Use Treatment During COVID-19
~ Partnership to End Addiction Staff
In a Time of Disruption, Protecting Your Child from the Risks of Substance Use
~ Partnership for Drug Free Kids
COVID-19: Accessing Critical Medications for Your Loved One
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Alcohol Prevention at a Time of Furlough and Layoffs
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What is Vivitrol? Answers for Parents
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
What to Know about Drugs Laced with Fentanyl & Other Substances
~ Partnership for Drug Free Kids
Carfentanil: A Dangerous New Factor in the U.S. Opioid Crisis
DEA Drug Information
Addiction and Sleep
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~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Juul, the vape device teens are getting hooked on, explained
~ Julia Belluz, Vox Media
What Parents Should Know About Kids Using CBD
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Pediatricians warn against marijuana use: Not your parents' pot
~ By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer
The Teen Years: How Parents Can Grant Their Teenager Privacy While Overseeing Their Well-Being at Home
Am I Enabling My Child by Helping Them?
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Master Addictions Counselor Mary Ann Badenoch, LPC
Not Getting Anywhere Talking to Your Child About Their Drug Use? Try Changing Your Tone of Voice.
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Your Child's Treatment & Recovery Roadmap: A Guide to Navigating the Addiction Treatment System
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Covering the Costs of Addiction Treatment, Whether Insured or Not
~ Partnership to End Addiction Staff
No Beds Available: What To Do When You're on a Waitlist for Addiction Treatment
~ Partnership for Drug Free Kids
What is Family Therapy for Addiction and How Can It Help MY Family
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Molly Bobek, LCSW, and Aaron Hogue, PhD, of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Use
I Was Blindsided By How Insurance Treated My Son's Substance Use Claim
~ Virginia Holleman, Parent & Advocate
Your First Call with Your Insurance Provider: What to Ask about Substance Use Coverage
~ by Lindsey Vuolo, JD, MPH, Associate Director of Health Law and Policy at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
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  What to Know about Drugs Laced with Fentanyl & Other Substances  
  ~ Partnership for Drug Free Kids  

laced drugs

Recently, a number of people close to our organization have reached out because they have lost children to counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. While it didn't make the newspapers like the fentanyl-related deaths of Mac Miller and Tom Petty, it was no less of a tragedy as the heartache reverberated among family and friends.

The danger of “laced” drugs isn't new. Many of the substances sold on the street are laced with “cutting agents,” more potent substances or disguised as another drug altogether. These can be laundry detergent, talcum powder or rat poison. For example, marijuana can be laced with embalming fluid, or the hallucinogen PCP. But one of the most dangerous is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl is showing up in cocaine, heroin, other pain medications like Percocet and Oxycodone, and in prescription anxiety medications like Xanax.

According to a CDC report, deaths related to fentanyl increased 45% in 2017 alone. Synthetic drugs are often more deadly not only because of how strong they are, but also because of the ever-changing ways in which they are blended into other substances. This makes it difficult for people to know not only what they are taking, but also the strength of the drug.

Why Are Some Drugs Laced with Other Substances?

fentanylMany families wonder why anyone would lace a product with a substance like fentanyl, given it's so powerful and can easily cause an overdose. After all, who would knowingly promote a product that has the potential to kill their buyers? The answer lies in economics. It's cheaper to produce, and when combined with other sought-after substances, can generate huge profits, despite the risk of overdose and loss of life.

While measures are being taken to safeguard the country, there are actions you as a parent or caregiver can take to protect and reduce the risks loved ones may face:

Talk about the risks of misusing prescription medications in addition to reminding your son or daughter that even if they think they know what a medication is, it can be counterfeit. Young people may be tempted to try pills (e.g. Xanax) or powders (e.g. cocaine) at parties — which is risky on its own, but especially so with the increased concerns about fentanyl.

Two-thirds of teens and young adults who report non-medical use of prescription medicine are getting it from friends, family and acquaintances. It's important to secure prescribed medications, take them as directed by your healthcare provider and dispose of unused pills rather than keeping them for a “rainy day.”

If you know or suspect your child might be exposed to substances laced with fentanyl, consider suggesting measures that can reduce the risks, including:

  • Having emergency naloxone (Narcan) available and knowing how to use it.
  • Having someone check in on your loved one if they consume substances alone, or ensure someone in a group is alert and able to use emergency naloxone if needed.
  • Using fentanyl test strips to test products for the presence of fentanyl. Due to the &ldquochocolate chip” effect, meaning that fentanyl is often not distributed evenly throughout the product, it's important to test the entire amount.
  • Using substances more slowly or in smaller amounts, and/or spacing out the doses, given the potency of fentanyl.


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