PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- In the middle of a pandemic, our community is dealing with an epidemic -- substance abuse and overdose.

Officials say 1,752 people in Maricopa County died from drug overdose in 2020, nearly double the rate of the year before. Kids and teens are increasingly at risk. Those who abuse prescription drugs overwhelmingly are getting high off medications that are given by or taken from friends and family.

Not My Kid is a non-profit organization addressing this community crisis. Shane Watson talked to Olivia Fierro about the deadly risks of pills laced with Fentanyl, and how to talk to your child about the dangers surrounding drug use.

Watson suggests discussing and modeling responsible behavior with prescription drugs, making clear that it's only safe to take what is prescribed to you personally, as prescribed. He also recommends discussing how any drug or alcohol affects a developing brain differently than an adult's, contributing to additional risk. 

For more guidance on how to have these critically important conversations, visit

Olivia Fierro anchors 3TV's Good Morning Arizona weekdays alongside  Scott Pasmore. 

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