While many of us have been hearing about Alberta’s problem with the drug fentanyl for a while now, the message doesn’t seem to be going away. The Herald has reported extensively on the problem.
Perhaps, as a parent, you are not overly concerned about this problem. It’s pretty easy to say, “My kids aren’t the kind of kids who would take this drug.” You may well be right, and we hope that you are.
While it is easy to dismiss the whole thing as someone else’s problem, it’s important that we don’t put our heads down into the sand and forget about the whole thing.
Parenting is teaching our kids about drugs.
Alberta Health Services says,
“You start teaching kids about drugs earlier than you think you do. A drug is any substance, other than food, that changes the way the body and mind function. You teach a child about drugs when you tell them not to touch, taste or play with some common household products, and when you tell them not to touch drugs that adults use (coffee, tea, cigarettes, alcohol, medicine). When you use these drugs in a responsible way, you are teaching kids how drugs should be used.”
We are aware that just last weekend, a full plastic bag of Fentanyl pills (about $80,000 – $100,000 worth) was discovered in a hedge in the neighbourhood of Garrison Woods. Thankfully, they were not found by curious kids who might have wanted to try this “candy,” nor by older kids who may well have known what the substance was and wanted to experiment.
We encourage all families to talk with your kids in an age appropriate manner about not consuming pills/candies when they don’t know what they are, and to bring them home to Mom and/or Dad when they do find things like this.
As Staff Sgt. Schiavetta mentions in this article in the Globe and Mail,
“This is absolutely the worst drug I’ve ever seen because of how toxic it is. The equivalent of two grains of sand will kill you, quickly.”
To clarify — if a pill contains two grains of fentanyl instead of one, it is lethal to adults. The people making this drug are not doing it with care as is shown by the rise in deaths from this drug.
Our goal is not to create fear here. Our goal is to encourage all parents to use their power — the power of language and guidance, to make sure that their children are aware of the dangers involved, and know how to say “NO!” to these drugs and “YES!” to their continued health.
It’s not hard to do. It just takes a moment.