Real Talk About Fentanyl, Opioids, & Marijuana

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Like it or not, fentanyl, other opioids, and marijuana are part of our boys’ world.

“It is very easy to get drugs on social media,” says Michelle Leopold, a mother whose son, Trevor, died after taking a pill he purchase online.

Ignoring these uncomfortable fact isn’t helpful. We have to educate ourselves and educate our boys. Here’s why:

Marijuana harms young brains

Today’s marijuana and marijuana-based products are far stronger than those of the past.

“It’s so important to learn about today’s marijuana,”Michelle says. Although marijuana and THC products are now legal in many states, study after study has shown that these products are not safe for developing brains.

Fentanyl kills

In 2019, Trevor, age 18, swallowed a blue pill he thought was oxycodone. It wasn’t.

Despite its markings, there was no oxycodone in the pill. The pill Trevor purchased was a counterfeit pill, & it contained fentanyl, a narcotic that’s 100 times more powerful than morphine, 50 times more powerful than heroin—and lethal at just a few grains.

Trevor didn’t get high; Trevor died.

According to the US. Dept of Justice, over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. As many as 7 in 10 counterfeit pills — pills sold online & purported to be oxycodone or other “prescription” meds — may now contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.

“People now need to assume that any drug they don’t get from their pharmacist has fentanyl in it,” Michelle says. “The odds are not in your favor.”

“I am going to use Trevor’s story to prevent other parents from losing their children.” — Michelle Leopold
In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Michelle discuss:
  • How marijuana can affect teens & families
  • Recognizing signs of drug use
  • Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
  • Parenting a child who is using substances
  • Just Say KNOW vs. Just Say No
  • Where teens and young adults are getting drugs & pills
  • Getting & using naloxone (Narcan)
  • Recognizing & responding to an overdose
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Marijuana to Fentanyl: My Son is More Than a Statistic — post by Michelle — Michelle’s blog (packed w info!)

Addiction Inoculation w Jessica Lahey — ON BOYS episode

Troubled Boys (w Kenneth R Rosen) — ON BOYS episode

Another View of Wilderness Therapy — ON BOYS episode  and toll-free Helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE / 1-855-378-4373)

SAMHSA National Helpline 1-800-662-4357 (Confidential free help, from public health agencies, to find substance use treatment and information) (Fentanyl Test Strips and Drug Checking Kits)

Adding Naloxone to Your First Aid Kit — Decipher Your Health post (NOTE: Jen now has naloxone in her home) — includes a Narcan training video

Al-Anon — support for family & friends of people w alcohol use disorder

Nar-Anon — support for family & friends of people who use narcotics

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