The Opiate Crisis…too close for comfort

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by Melanie Whyte, RP, CCAC

What parents need to know is that the opiode crisis is happening in every small town, big city, religious group, and across economic and financial statuses. It’s not simply somebody else’s child, it can be yours.

The class of drugs that are called Opiates, are pain relievers that you may have in your medicine cabinet, and they are highly addictive. They are readily available from your medicine cabinet, or from other’s cabinets. It doesn’t take many doses to become addicted to these narcotics.

In the last two years, I have been prescribed Morphine, Oxycodone, and Dilaudid on six occasions, for relatively minor pain, and I have not filled those prescriptions, but they are all opiates and addictive. Imagine, if you filled the prescriptions, and your child took some of them. This class of medication is not only highly addictive, but “in” as a social activity for youth. It makes you wonder if these medications are over-prescribed. When I got my wisdom teeth removed, I received Ibuprofen, and now it is routine to prescribe an Opiate pain killer.

Opiods are highly addictive and often create problematic use after one or two doses. Opiates affect the reward centre of the brain, and if stopped, comes withdrawal. Withdrawal from them is painful and includes sweating, chills, racing heart, pain, goose bumps, and more. So many of our children go in search of more of the “feel good” pills that they found in your cabinet.

The overdose deaths are not from your medicine cabinets, but it may have started there. The overdoses are from very powerful and unpredictable doses of opiates in the form of Fentanyl and Carfentanyl. Fentayl is 100 times more powerful than morphine and you will probably overdose and die, and Carfentanyl….you’re dead.

Think twice about ignoring your child’s odd behaviour. Think twice about avoiding confrontation when you suspect drug use. Get your head out of the sand and become trained in administering Naloxone to anyone experiencing an overdose. Even if it’s not your child, it could be someone else’s, and having Naloxone might save their life. Wouldn’t you want someone to have the training and save your child’s life?

Lets think of our Kids, and be realistic about their potential experimenting with drugs. We may have tried pot…but these days kids are playing Russian roulette when they don’t understand that the potential consequence is death.

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