Parenting Tips, Info, & Advice
Fentanyl Part 2: Halloween Worry?
A number of weeks ago, I shared with you information about the dangers of fentanyl, a drug that is rapidly increasing in sales and prevalence and responsible for numerous deaths. In King County alone, where I live, we are on track to set a new record in terms of the number of people who have died from fentanyl—more than a 46% increase over this time last year.
HOWEVER, some of the information I shared with you was not entirely accurate, and I feel obliged to correct that, particularly in light of new fears and sensational headlines (thank you Fox News) that fentanyl will be slipped into treat bags on Halloween. After all, I do not want to be the cause of false alarm or perpetuating urban myths, when I work so hard to combat those.
In light of that, here’s what you need to know:
- Fentanyl is real. Talk to your teens and young adult children about the risks. It is finding its way into high schools, colleges, and clubs and can have deadly results. Taking an unknown substance (or even a known one like alcohol for that matter) is dangerous on a number of different levels, and conversations (not lectures!) need to be had about this.
- Drug traffickers are likely NOT targeting little kids with rainbow fentanyl. The fentanyl that is “dressed up” to look like candy and sidewalk chalk is designed to help avoid detection from drug enforcement, not to create an army of drug-addicted kindergarteners. The media has run with some myths on this, and we all need to take a deep breath and calm down.
- Along those same lines, you do NOT need to worry that people are going to slip fentanyl into your child’s Halloween treat bag. Traffickers would literally have NOTHING to gain by giving drugs to unsuspecting children on Halloween. Why? That’s an expensive treat to give out to kids who a) aren’t likely to become paying customers and b) wouldn’t know which house they got it from if they wanted to (which they don’t).
So in the end, with Halloween just around the corner, I urge parents to put on their common-sense hats and let the kids have fun. If you see anything in trick-or-treat bags that doesn’t look right, is homemade, or if the candy inside doesn’t match the label outside, don’t let your kids eat it. But you can pretty much trust that a Snickers bar is a Snickers bar and that the worse thing that’s going to happen Monday is a sugar high and a late bedtime.
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Christy Keating is a certified parent coach, positive discipline educator, and motivational speaker. She is the founder and CEO of The Heartful Parent Collective, which includes Heartful Parent Coaching, Savvy Parents Safe Kids, and Heartful Parent Academy.
The mother of two amazing daughters, Christy strives to build a happier, healthier world - one child, one parent, and one family at a time.