Opioids

Patients who are prescribed opioids and the clinicians who prescribe them have more to be concerned about than steadily rising rates of opioid overdoses, according to a new study.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- All month long, Arizona’s Family is committed to educating you on the Fentanyl epidemic, including ways to talk with your child or children.

Arizona-based organization, Community Bridges, Inc. explains ways for parents to talk with their kids.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Fentanyl's Fatal Fallout]

For toddlers, the group recommends the following:

Remind toddlers not to put anything unknown substances in their mouth.

When parents take medicine, explain to your child what you’re taking, how much you take and that anything more is dangerous.

Use age-appropriate language.

It’s important to simplify things for young children.

[RELATED: What is fentanyl and why is it 'the deadliest drug in the world'?]

As your child gets older, here are some other tips:

Learn facts about opioids, including fentanyl.

Research the data, and look at local news stories about any possible trends.

Try to listen without overreacting.

After listening, talk about the truths: risks, dangers and potential for death.

Tell truths instead of scare tactics.

They should understand opioid abuse can cause respiratory arrest, which means the person will stop breathing.

As your child gets into their teenage years, it’s important to remember they will hear rumors in school, and you need to make sure you are a resource for them.

Make sure they have positive role models around them.

Teens need to hear healthy messages from several role models. This will help form their “norms”.

[SPECIAL REPORTING: Counterfeit Percocet pills widely available in Nogales, Mexico]

Community Bridges, Inc. also says it’s important to remember this is more than "just say no"; it is also about being in the know.

Do not be afraid to share what is happening with the deadly fentanyl crisis. Talk about what is happening and share the facts of how little fentanyl can kill a person.

The organization says it’s never too young to talk about drugs.

Ask yourself the following:

How old is your kid?

What do you want them to know five years from now?

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