The drug supply is poisoned.
Any dose can be deadly.
Street drugs have become more poisonous, more unpredictable, and more deadly.
They are hurting and killing our loved ones.
Prescription medications can also be very harmful if misused or if they get into the wrong hands.
Drugs are the leading cause of unnatural death of youth aged 10–18.
Most die at home, using alone.
You can help make a difference.
Have the talk
Keeping young people informed is the key to keeping them safe. When talking to kids about drugs:
- Be honest and straightforward. Stick to the truth. Studies say lectures and scare tactics don’t work.
- Know the facts so you can answer questions. If you’re not sure, look them up together with your kids.
- Keep calm and avoid judgmental language. Shame and stigma prevent people from reaching out for help.
- Stay connected. Have regular conversations with your kids about drugs. It’s the best prevention.
Take advantage of moments to bring up the topic naturally, like news stories or social media posts.
- Ask them what they know and think.
- Talk about why people use drugs and what can happen.
- Show you care about their safety and well-being.
Get the facts
Street drugs are now often laced with fentanyl or other hidden poisons that can seriously hurt or kill a person. This makes each dose unpredictable and possibly deadly.
Pills off the street may be laced with deadly ingredients. Prescriptions meant for a friend or family member could be harmful if taken by someone else.
Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are so strong, even a tiny bit can be lethal or make a person very sick.
Coroners study how people die. In the past year, they have found fentanyl in most of the drugs that caused people to die or experience an overdose.
Coroners say the leading cause of unnatural death in kids under 18 is drugs. Most kids didn’t know fentanyl was in the drugs they were taking.
Coroners say more people have been hurt or killed by drugs than by car accidents.
Help for kids and teenagers
We all need a safe place to turn to ask questions, get help, or just want to talk with someone.
Share these resources with your kids and ask them to tell a friend.
Help for families and caregivers
Learn more about substance use and ways to care for your loved ones and yourself. Find a program near you.