Young adults between 18-25 are the biggest abusers of antidepressants,
anti-anxiety drugs, ADHD stimulants, and prescription painkillers.
Prescription depressants, antidepressants, and opioids are more responsible for
teen overdose deaths than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine
Teens consume the powerful opioid unwittingly, packaged in counterfeit pills tailored to resemble less potent prescription medications.
Recently, we've launched a new campaign titled, "Don't Play With Pills" because the dangers surrounding prescription drugs today go far beyond just recreational misuse. The issue of fentanyl-laced street drugs is out of control and is the #1 killer of individuals ages 18-45. Accidental teen deaths caused by fentanyl-laced prescription drugs are occurring nationwide, highlighting the urgent need for action.
Teens today are struggling more than ever with stress, anxiety, and depression, and many are turning to the street or the internet to purchase prescription drugs to self-medicate their emotional health issues, not knowing they may be laced with lethal substances. Most concerning is the rise of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, which is up to 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Teens are at risk of abusing prescription drugs because they are widely available, inexpensive, and falsely believed to be safer than illicit drugs.
Information regarding the enormous risks of misusing prescription drugs purchased off the street or over the internet needs to reach teens today so they understand that when used for recreational purposes or to self-medicate emotional health issues, the risk is not worth taking.
The "Don't Play With Pills" campaign aims to reduce teen misuse and prevent further tragic deaths by raising awareness and addressing this issue head-on. Engaging in this crucial discussion can help prevent further harm and motivate cultural change among young people.
Tips for Parents and Caregivers
Encourage open and honest communication
Explain what fentanyl is and why it is so dangerous
Stress not to take any pills that were not prescribed to you from a doctor
No pill purchased on social media or off the street is safe
Make sure they know that fentanyl has been found in most illegal drugs
Create an "exit plan" to help your child know what to do if they're pressured to take a pill or use drugs