OP-ED

Stay informed about the dangers of Fentanyl from kids to grandparents

By Marie Garceau
Posted 9/6/23

Many grandparents have an integral role in shaping their young grandchildren’s lives, whether being a positive influence, a role model, or speaking to them about drugs and peer pressure.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in
OP-ED

Stay informed about the dangers of Fentanyl from kids to grandparents

Posted

Many grandparents have an integral role in shaping their young grandchildren’s lives, whether being a positive influence, a role model, or speaking to them about drugs and peer pressure.

Teens can often face severe peer pressure to try drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, it is common for illegal drugs today to be laced with fentanyl. Drug prevention and education are crucial and can help young people make informed and responsible decisions and potentially avoid dangerous situations. 

Resources like the Seniors' Guide to Fentanyl and local drug education programs in Rhode Island are essential in offering factual information and filling the void.

When speaking to your grandchildren about fentanyl, other drugs, and peer pressure, 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, 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?

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.

There are real risks today. Illegally made fentanyl is commonly mixed into drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. It is also made into pills that mimic common prescription pain medication. Counterfeit pills are sold on social media platforms. Drug dealers use code words and emojis to advertise products.

There are risks for anyone buying illegal drugs online. In Rhode Island, fentanyl and cocaine continue to be involved in most fatal overdoses. Fentanyl was involved in 75% of fatal overdoses, and cocaine was involved in 50% of deaths.

Drug education remains essential regardless of age. Grandparents should stay informed about the risks and play a role in passing this information on to their grandchildren.

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.

Fentanyl , dangers, drugs

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here