How to Talk to Our Kids About Fentanyl
Start with these three messages. Then focus on the delivery.
By Lesley Young, March 29th, 2018
There’s no magic pill for talking to your kids about drugs—a conversation that is more important than ever given all kinds of street drugs are being laced with fentanyl, a new deadly entry to the market.
“Sometimes parents don’t talk to their kids about drugs because they believe they’ve taught them to make good choices. For other parents, there’s ignorance about the risk, especially when it comes to fentanyl,” said Troy Janzen, an educational psychologist at UAlberta. “They don’t know the opioid is everywhere, and that the amount of two grains of sand can kill you.”
Of the 343 people who died from fentanyl overdoses in Alberta in 2016, roughly 10 per cent were under the age of 19. The overall number of overdose deaths in all categories is likely higher but currently unknown due to data backlogs, said Elaine Hyshka, an assistant professor and addiction specialist with UAlberta’s School of Public Health.
She said talking to your kids about drug use, and establishing strong bonds with them, are an important determinant in whether the children will ultimately engage in risky behaviours like drug use.
With that in mind, here are three things to focus on while talking to your kids.