You may or may not have heard of illicit fentanyl by now. If you haven’t, it is very likely, your children haven’t either. The fentanyl pandemic is increasingly growing with each passing day.
Today is the day we recommend having that discussion with your child(ren).
As parents ourselves, we realize that both our schedules and our kids’ schedules can be busy. For teenagers, we understand how uncool it may seem for them to sit down and watch a film such as Dead On Arrival.
Whether you’re a volunteer, a sports coach, a mentor, a member of the PTA or school board, a Boy Scout, or a Girl Scout leader, these are all amazing opportunities to educate your youth and their parents. It takes very little time to have a conversation to educate those around you, especially our youth.
The topic of fentanyl poisoning has been pushed aside for quite some time. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in fentanyl poisonings with each passing year. Currently, fentanyl poisoning is the leading cause of death for those aged 14-45. By not having these conversations, parents and children are not aware of what illicit fentanyl is, how easily it can be found at the tap of a few buttons on social media apps that our children use every day and the lethality of this deadly poison.
We encourage you to watch both Dead On Arrival films with your children and the youth you interact with on a daily basis in your life. Learn about the dangers of illicit fentanyl. Have a conversation with your children about the dangers of illicit fentanyl. Learn the signs of an overdose and how to reverse the effects of an overdose by using Narcan.
Share Dead On Arrival with those you know and love. In doing so, you are helping save lives. You are protecting our future generations to come.
We’ve found this valuable resource called the Screen Aware Early Childhood Action Kit:
Screen Aware Early Childhood Action Kit provides:
- Guidance for prioritizing healthy child development in a screen saturated world
- Strategies for managing screen use (for children and adults)
- Research-based information on impacts of screen technologies
- Resources for promoting screen awareness at home and in the classroom
Before You Start
We recommend that you preview both the long and short versions of Dead On Arrival before watching it with your children. By viewing this ahead of time, you will be better equipped to help your child(ren) process the information that they will be receiving as they watch it.
Introduction To Dead On Arrival
With the shortened version of Dead On Arrival, it is important to keep in mind that it has been shortened to reach deep within our children and ourselves by means of truthful statistics and imagery.
You and your child(ren) may have more questions after viewing the film(s). That’s great. Have your child keep a notebook close by to write down any questions or reactions they may have to discuss after the film.
While it is an important topic, it is also important to allow yourself or your child(ren) to take a break if needed while watching the film. If they need to step away for a moment, that is ok. If you are presenting to a larger group, you could enlist the help of additional adults to help guide the discussion or have counselors on hand to assist with any other needs of the children.
What is fentanyl? Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50–100 times more potent than morphine. Illicit fentanyl can be found mixed with heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, or other designer drugs. Fentanyl can also be found in fake pills that have been created to look like pharmaceutical-grade prescription drugs such as Percocet, Xanax, Adderall, Ketamine, and in some cases, Tylenol. Simply put, there is no safe supply of any drug out there.
We as parents and educators need to educate our children on the fact that if it is not a prescription, prescribed directly for them by a pharmacist or a medication administered to them by you, it is not safe. We must educate them on the dangers that 4 out of every 10 pills are fake and contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.
One cannot argue the pain and anguish that families who’ve lost a loved one to fentanyl poisoning continue to experience as fentanyl seeps its way into our communities. Dead On Arrival sheds profound light on the ease and access children and teens have where drug dealers on social media apps operate in an open-air drug market. It depicts the lethality in the manufacturing of fake pills created to look like pharmaceutical-grade prescription pills and fentanyl-laced powders in hopes of sparking conversations among parents & caregivers with their children before they fall victim to fentanyl poisoning.
Tips For A Healthy Discussion
Fentanyl poisoning is not a light subject for any person regardless of age. Give your child(ren)/student a moment to sit and process the film before starting the conversation. There are no right or wrong ways to open the discussion.