Tens of thousands of people around the USA die every month from fentanyl poisoning. Sadly awareness campaigns are still not part of every high school or middle school curriculum. The problem is especially acute among young adults, who are more likely to experiment with drugs and are often unaware of the risks of fentanyl. While some schools have drug prevention programs in place, they are often insufficient to address the scale of the problem. In addition, many parents are reluctant to talk to their children about drugs, leaving them vulnerable to peer pressure and misinformation.
Fentanyl poisoning awareness campaigns need to be immediately incorporated into the school curriculum to help address this tragic crisis and potentially save lives.
Fentanyl Poisoning – A Preventable Tragedy
It’s hard to imagine, but tens of thousands of young adults die monthly from fentanyl poisonings. That’s the equivalent of a 747 jumbo jet full of people falling from the skies every two days. And yet, we remain largely silent on this issue. And yet, we do not have a comprehensive plan to address the problem.
Social media platforms have the ability to reach millions of people within seconds. Snap Inc. had launched an ongoing app public awareness campaign in 2021. The platform has continued engaging with federal drug enforcement agencies, communities, parents and organizations focused on raising awareness of fentanyl and counter pills, investing heaving this year in AI and machine learning tools to detect suspicious drug activity on Snapchat. The platform had also joined forces with the National Fentanyl Awareness Day by creating a Fentanyl Awareness Lens to help teens and young adults to learn more about the dangers of fentanyl,
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However more needs to be done by other social media platforms to create the much-needed countrywide campaigns about the dangers of fentanyl. Also, school curriculums should immediately implement awareness classes for students. Until we take collective action, fentanyl deaths will continue to rise.
This lack of action has to change. We can no longer afford to be silent on this issue. We need to raise awareness and educate our young people about the dangers of drug use.
We need to take action at a systemic level if we want to see any real change in the number of lives lost each year to fentanyl poisoning. It’s time for us all to face up to the devastating impact of fentanyl and do something about it. Only then can we hope to prevent more tragedies from happening.
Fentanyl Continues to Kill Young Americans at Unprecedented Rates
Fentanyl was first introduced in the 1960s as a powerful painkiller and anesthetic. Since then, it has been used safely and effectively in medical settings around the world. However, in recent years, illicit fentanyl produced in Mexican labs and smuggled into the US has created a new and even a much deadlier phase of the opioid crisis.
According to the DEA, fentanyl is being added to heroin, fake prescription pills, and even stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine. In fact, four out of every ten counterfeit pills bought on the street, internet, or on social media platforms contain a lethal dose of fentanyl. Just 2mg of fentanyl, equivalent to a few grains of sand, can be enough to kill a human being.
Teens are especially vulnerable to fentanyl poisoning because drug dealers often target them through social media and money transfer apps. If you or someone you know has taken a pill that a doctor didn’t prescribe, assume it’s a fentapill and get medical help immediately.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or stressed, find healthy outlets for your emotions. Talk to your parents, teachers, school counselors, or health professionals. They can help you find ways to cope with whatever is going on in your life.
What is a Fentapill?
A fentapill is a counterfeit prescription pill intentionally made to resemble legitimate pharmaceutical medications but instead is made of illicit fentanyl or an illicit fentanyl analog. This dangerous practice has resulted in a higher rate of lethal poisonings amongst one-time users, who are often unaware of the pill’s contents. The only way to ensure that you are not at risk of fentanyl poisoning is to purchase your drugs from a reputable source, such as a pharmacy. The bottom line is that you must assume that any pill you buy outside a legitimate pharmacy is fake and possibly deadly.
It is Time to Take Action. Silence is NOT an Option!
The fentanyl epidemic is a national crisis and it’s time for social media platforms and our education system to start taking this issue seriously.
We can no longer afford to be silent on this issue. We need to take action at a national level to prevent more lives from being lost. Fentanyl kills quickly and quietly – we cannot let it claim any more victims.
Helpful Resources for Parents and Teens:
- Placer County Partners Raise Awareness of Increased Fentanyl Poisonings among Teens and Young Adults
- 1 Pill Can Kill; Placer: The Facts
- Song for Charlie: What is a “Fentapill”
- DEA Recognizes First Ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day
- Snap Inc.: Update on Our Ongoing Work to Combat the U.S. Fentanyl Epidemic
Reviewed by Clare Waismann, Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS), Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor (SUDCC), founder of Waismann Method® Advanced Treatment for Opiate Dependence and Domus Retreat®. Clare Waismann is an authority and expert on opioid dependence, opioid use disorder, substance dependence, detoxification treatments, detox recovery, and other topics covered on RapidDetox.com.