DEA Reminds Parents to Speak to Their Children About the Dangers of Drug Use
NEWARK, N.J. – With schools returning to full in-person classes, the Drug Enforcement Administration New Jersey Division is asking parents to speak to their children about the dangers of drug use.
“This is a great time for parents to sit down with their children to speak to them about the dangers of drug use,” said DEA New Jersey Division Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson. “Students are returning to a normal class schedule and to their social circles. They could now face new challenges related to peer pressure to experiment with substances.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 92,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2020. This is the largest amount of overdose deaths ever in a 12-month period. Opioids accounted for more than 68,000 of those deaths. Synthetic opioids, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl, remain the primary driver for the increases in drug overdose deaths.
Another significant concern is the increase in counterfeit pills flooding the illegal drug market. The drug cartels are capitalizing on the opioid epidemic and manufacturing mass quantities of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl and sending them to the United States for distribution. Counterfeit pills are extremely dangerous and often have the same markings of legitimate prescription medications such as Oxycodone, Xanax, and Adderall. The user is most likely unaware they are counterfeit and of how lethal they are.
“It is very important to talk to your family members periodically about these dangers.” Gibson said. “Kids need to know that taking one counterfeit pill could be enough to cause a fatal overdose. The earlier that we can get this information to kids the more impactful it can be that they will make better and possibly life-saving choices in the future. Those that are selling these drugs do not care about the health and well-being of your child. These conversations can be enough to save a life.”
For DEA resources for parents and students, visit www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.gov or www.JustThinkTwice.gov.