Teens urged to speak to their grandparents about drugs and Fentanyl

Published 9:29 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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Grandparents often play an essential role in shaping the lives of their grandkids. Whether this is helping to raise them, being a positive influence, or helping safeguard them from dangerous situations. Drug and alcohol use would be one of those situations.
The opioid epidemic has shown no signs of slowing down. Drug education and prevention remain important in preventing drug use and overdose. Resources like the Seniors’ Guide to Fentanyl and local drug education are crucial.
It helps individuals become familiar with the dangers and become a reliable source of factual information. Grandparents can share this information with their grandchildren and adult children.
When speaking to your grandkids about 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.
The powdered version of illegally made fentanyl is often found in drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. It’s also made into pills that mimic common prescription pain medication and sold on social media platforms.
Drug dealers use code words and emojis to advertise products, often targeting young people because of how frequently they use these platforms. The risk of overdose is real for anyone purchasing illegal drugs.
In Johnson County, there were nine overdose deaths in 2021; across the state, it reached over 3,800 deaths that year.
Drug prevention and education remain crucial. Grandparents should speak to their grandchildren about drugs, peer pressure, and the risk of fentanyl. Teens can often face significant peer pressure with drugs, leading to a deadly outcome.
(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.)

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