This is to alert our community about new and highly dangerous forms of fentanyl circulating in our area. Our intention in sharing this information with families is not to cause panic or alarm but to use this as an opportunity to spread awareness and encourage you to have honest and open conversations with your children about drugs and drug safety.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, approved for treating severe pain. It’s 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently issued a warning about new forms of fentanyl, which, as street drugs, are targeted toward children and young adults. These versions of the drug are formulated in brightly colored pills, powders, and blocks that have been termed “rainbow fentanyl” due to their bright colors.
With younger children, the recommendation is that you don’t need to give specifics but rather use this as an opportunity to remind your child about drug safety (i.e., you only ever accept medicine from a parent, caregiver, or doctor). For older students, this is a good reminder to stay vigilant and monitor your child’s cell phone and social media accounts. In regards to broaching these topics with older children, you know your child best, so use your discretion about how much information to share. At the very least, we recommend reviewing drugs and drug safety as a family. Below you will find guidance and resources on having such conversations. Thank you for your attention and care on this important matter. Please contact our counselor, Ms. Shaw, with any questions.
Resources for Families
- For more facts about fentanyl, here is an informative fact sheet from the CDC.
- Check out the DEA’s comprehensive resource guide, Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent’s Guide to Substance Use Prevention. There are great tips for what to say to children in elementary, middle, and high school about drug safety and how to start these conversations.
- For more resources about fentanyl, see the DEA’s Fentanyl Awareness website.