Sitting on a Powder Keg

Every parent of teens and college students I know has had the talk with their kids. We know you might try alcohol or weed, but no powders or pills. This warning is now as much a part of the back to school ritual as shopping for clothes, binders, and notebooks. It’s one thing to break some rules or push one’s limits. It’s another thing to risk your life. This is back to school in age of fentanyl. NPR: As more teens overdose on fentanyl, schools face a drug crisis unlike any other. “Fentanyl was involved in the vast majority of all teen overdose deaths – 84% – in 2021, and the problem has been growing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl-related adolescent overdose deaths nearly tripled from 2019 to 2021. And nearly a quarter of those deaths involved counterfeit pills that weren’t prescribed by a doctor.”

+ “Fentanyl’s toll now includes a growing number of children. Desperate to keep the deadly synthetic opioid out of the hands of kids, Texas lawmakers enacted Tucker’s Law this summer to launch an education campaign about its dangers in middle and high schools. A world away politically, California lawmakers are considering Melanie’s Law, which would require schools to tackle opioid overdoses in their safety plans. Both measures are named for teenagers who are part of a rapidly swelling group: children dying of fentanyl overdoses.” Politico: Fentanyl is killing kids. State lawmakers are searching for answers.

+ And something to add to your back to school shopping list: “The first over-the-counter naloxone, a drug used to reverse opioid overdose, will be available in retail stores and online as soon as next week.”

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