Vaping and opioid use: what can parents do?

In Minnesota and Stearns County, most overdose deaths were a result of opioids. In 2019, 11 out of 15 (73 percent) Stearns County drug overdoses were due to opioids.

Many users are unaware that they are taking fentanyl. It is now involved in 92 percent of all opioid-involved deaths and 62 percent of all overdose deaths in Minnesota.

Opioid-involved deaths increased 43 percent from 2020 to 2021, primarily due to synthetic opioids, including fentanyl.

Reported inappropriate use (no prescription or used differently than prescribed) on the 2022 Minnesota Student Survey increased among eighth and ninth graders.

What can parents do?

The best prevention is to talk with your kids. Starting conversations with them early and often. Stay educated and aware of recent drug trends and information.

Spend time with them and let them know what your expectations and rules are, and what the consequences are if they break the rules. Check in regularly.

Recognize if your child is at increased risk due to family history of addiction, mental health concerns like depression or anxiety or exposure to trauma.

Counter the "everybody's doing it" messages.

Model health coping skills so they have the skills to cope and make healthier choices.

Encourage positive relationships and opportunities to help prevent risky behaviors.

Support public policies that support prevention and prevent access to harmful products.

Additional information from a May 6 meeting on this topic at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa high school's Olson Auditorium was published in the May 9 and May 16 issues of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. You can also read additional information by clicking here and reading a few of the slideshows that were presented to the public on May 6:


Reader Comments(0)