Dear Friend,

I want to talk directly to you—parents, grandparents, and guardians. With summer upon us, our kids have more freedom, more time, and, unfortunately, more opportunities to get into trouble. One of the gravest threats they face today is exposure to dangerous drugs like fentanyl. This isn’t just any drug—fentanyl is deadly. Even a dose smaller than the size of a penny can kill.

The FEND Off Fentanyl Act, recently passed by the House and Senate, is designed to combat this ongoing opioid crisis by targeting the fentanyl supply chain. Despite these efforts, the reality is that fentanyl is still out there, being laced into heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and even marijuana. Gary Wolske, president of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, highlighted the growing problem, noting that “People are dying at a rapid rate.”

As the days get longer and our children spend more time outside, hanging out with friends and enjoying their break from school, it’s all too easy for them to encounter situations involving drugs. As a parent, grandparent, or guardian, it’s your role to protect your kids from these dangers. Here are some steps you can take to help keep them safe:

  1. Open Communication: Talk to your children about the dangers of drugs, especially fentanyl. Make sure they understand how deadly it can be. Explain that even a tiny amount can be fatal, and it’s often mixed with other drugs without their knowledge.
  2. Know Their Friends: Get to know the people your children are hanging out with. Make sure they are good influences and understand the importance of staying away from drugs.
  3. Monitor Their Activities: While giving your kids freedom is important, keeping an eye on their activities is equally important. Know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Encourage them to spend time in supervised environments where they are less likely to encounter drugs.
  4. Educate About Peer Pressure: Teach your children how to handle peer pressure. Give them the confidence to say no and to walk away from situations where drugs are present.
  5. Set Clear Rules and Consequences: Establish clear rules about drug use and the consequences if they are broken. Make sure your children understand that these rules are in place to protect them.
  6. Provide Healthy Alternatives: Keep your kids engaged in positive activities. Sports, hobbies, and family outings can provide them with healthy ways to spend their time and reduce the temptation to try drugs.
  7. Stay Informed: Keep yourself informed about the latest trends in drug use and the signs of drug abuse. This knowledge will help you recognize if your child might be in danger.
  8. Create a Safe Environment: Ensure your home is a safe space where your children can talk openly about their concerns and experiences. Let them know they can come to you without fear of judgment or punishment.

Summer should be a time of fun and relaxation for our children, not a time of risk and danger. By taking these proactive steps, you can help protect your kids from the deadly threat of fentanyl and other drugs.

Remember, the best defense against drug abuse is a strong, supportive relationship with your children. Be their guide, their confidant, and their protector. Talk to them, listen to them, and let them know you are there for them, no matter what.

Until next time, stay safe, stay vigilant, and enjoy the summer with peace of mind, knowing you’ve done everything you can to protect your family.

Sincerely,

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515

P.S.— Drug overdose is so tragic in part because it is so preventable.  I urge you to share the information in this blog with your friends and loved ones. Having a frank conversation with your children or the young people you care about might just save a life.

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