Understanding and keeping our children safe from opioids

Prescription drugs are highly addictive and extremely dangerous to your children; far too many are using, and dying, from the easy accessibility of opioid pain medicine both on the street and at home.

Image by James~Quinn via Flickr

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 – We live in an overly medicated world where prescription drugs are found in your home and on the streets. Prescription drugs are highly addictive and extremely dangerous to your children; and far too many are using, and dying, from the easy accessibility of opioid pain medicine.

In 2015, the fentanyl-related deaths spiked so high in Ohio state health officials asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send scientists to help address the problem.

Researchers are seeing a new opioid, stronger than heroin, called gray death. The street-mixture drug, a combination of several opioids including heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil — a large animal tranquilizer and a synthetic opioid called U-47700, looks like a concrete mix and varies in consistency from a hard, chunky material to a fine powder.

The prescription pill epidemic is growing across the nation at an alarming rate and our children, as young as middle-school, encounter heroin being sold in school parking lots. Many homes in our nation contain medicine cabinets full of leftover prescriptions, this threat continues to surround our nation’s youth.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration suggest disposing of any extra prescription pills by flushing down the toilet. To prevent addiction or overdose it is best to not leave any substance laying around the home.

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Methadone is used to treat addiction, but this strong fentanyl-based drug for pain management is not to be taken lightly, this is a serious drug. The synthetic opioid Fentanyl, available through prescriptions, is up to 100 times the strength of heroin. It is common to see fentanyl in the form of a patch, tablets, nasal sprays, and lozenges.

The Centers for Disease Control reported from 2013 to 2014 the amount of fentanyl-related deaths increased by 80%. Heroin laced with Fentanyl is a growing concern across the country. The Heroin laced Fentanyl combination is taking many lives in such a short amount of time.

Heroin is still considered to be the deadliest substance to filter through America. Center of Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2015 heroin took 13,000 lives.

Parents and patients need to be aware that the pain medication given to our children to assist the with the recovery process and pain management can be extremely habit forming. Usually, prescription drugs addiction turns into a heroin addiction. Heroin use slow the heart rate and breathing, the central nervous system is also affected and causes pinpoint pupils

The American Journal of Public Health reported in 2014 that states with large rural areas have the most opioid-related deaths and injuries making them among the most vulnerable.

In positive news, studies indicate that less of our nation’s youth have overdosed on heavy painkillers like Hydrocodone and Oxycodone in the past 5 years. Studies are finding a correlation between opiod drugs and teen suicides.

Many agencies, police departments, state departments of education, and first responders are using Naloxone, also called Narcan to reverse the effects of overdose temporarily while the patient is taken to the emergency room. Narcan can make the difference between life and death in some situations.



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