Young people are getting back together in real life, and with that socializing comes new experiences. Kids are being kids, pushing boundaries, partying, and rebelling. Snapchat, TikTok, and other apps put things like Molly pills and other club drugs in their hands overnight. Many of the drug dealers drop off packages in mailboxes at night. And the drug users, aged as young as fourteen or as old as in their 30s, don’t have the experience or know-how to test their drugs for fentanyl. And due to their lack of opioid exposure, this leads to overdoses – and death. Teens and young adults are overdosing at record rates.
Why Are Drugs Tainted With Fentanyl?
Nobody knows just one reason for drugs being tainted with fentanyl. Often the powder for club drugs and opioids comes from overseas. Drug dealers may mix the fentanyl in, but they’re usually unaware of it. And young people looking for Xanax, Oxycontin, Molly, speed, and other drugs don’t realize how unsafe and unstable the drug supply has become.
The drugs are tainted mostly because inexperienced users don’t have a way to check them. Maybe dealers expect the drug users to become addicted, or perhaps they hope the user to tell everyone it was the “best.” Whatever the case, it’s causing deaths rapidly among younger users.
How Can Young Lives Be Saved From Fentanyl Overdoses?
Harm reduction advocates say fentanyl overdoses can’t be anticipated, but everyone can be prepared to help in case of a fentanyl overdose. Naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, is available throughout the United States. In most states, you do not need a prescription to purchase it. In others, training is required or a doctor’s order. Parents may want to keep Naloxone in their emergency supplies.
In addition, some harm reduction organizations also distribute fentanyl testing strips. They are not legal in all states, but in California, Washington DC, and other larger cities, they are legal for drug users to possess and use. Harm reduction helps people who use drugs stay alive to fight another day.
Saving Lives Should Be a Priority When It Comes To Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a growing problem in the United States, claiming the lives of people who are merely experimenting with drugs and alcohol for the first time. Public health officials need to work with parents, community organizations, and others in the community to help educate young people about the dangers of fentanyl on the illicit drug market. They should also equip communities with tools to save lives and prevent overdoses.