Arizona parents urged to talk to teens about fentanyl dangers ahead of upcoming school year
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- With school coming back in session, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is urging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of fentanyl.
As some students turn to drugs to battle stress or anxiety, state authorities warn teens that the drug they think they are taking might be fentanyl instead.
Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, is very deadly and easy to overdose. The Arizona Department of Health Services reports that, on average, about five people die every day in the state from an opioid overdose.
One of the significant problems law enforcement across the Valley is seeing is a plethora of counterfeit pills. While the pills might look like Adderall, typically used for ADHD treatment, it’s actually fentanyl.
Authorities are also urging parents to talk to their kids about fentanyl. In addition, the state wants kids and teens to know they shouldn’t be afraid to act if one of their friends overdoses.
“In a lot of situations where you have an overdose, especially with a teen, there tends to be another person present. We want to remind teens that if they are ever in a situation like that, they can call for help. Arizona has a Good Samaritan act that protects others in case of an overdose,” said Vanessa Ceja, a communications specialist for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Resources that help prevent overdoses are available for community members. For example, MCAO has an outreach program to spread awareness that residents can request.
“We have our community affairs team that goes out in the community and talks to patients, to parent groups, teacher groups, organizations, and businesses to talk about these topics just so they are aware just so they know what to do if they do come across issues like this,” said Ceja.
“If you know that you have somebody in your life that has these types of issues you are prepared and you are carrying some kind of medication that will help stop an overdose. Narcan is distributed throughout the county, you can pick that up at your local pharmacy so carry that with you because you just never know,” said Ceja.
In addition, test strips can test for fentanyl are sold at pharmacies and supermarkets.
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