Drugs that are falsely made, being laced with fentanyl are soaring in the United States through the distribution of the cartels from Mexico. Ever since Covid-19, the cartels have had trouble adapting to drug trafficking with border and trade restrictions due to safety. Cartels have resorted to Fentanyl which takes far less effort to mule and minimal amounts can have an effect on “street-made” drugs. With how easy it is for drug traffickers to compound fake medications such as Percocet, Valium, Oxycodone (or any others that are being made up with ingredients like baby powder formulas or baking soda in non-sterile environments) it’s becoming more dangerous than ever before. It only takes about 2 milligrams of fentanyl to enter your system to kill someone. With these drugs being made outside of high-tech facilities and licensed distributors, there is no telling the accuracy of these laced substances. This has caused a crisis amongst our communities and is more accessible in Southern California and Arizona (being border to border with Mexico). There have been countless cases of accidental drug overdoses. Kids often want to experiment and usually get in touch with the wrong person, whether that’s through a fake friend or an added profile on Snapchat, and get their hands on a pill that has Fentanyl in it and that’s it. It really only comes down to one mistake, one time, to lose a life.
Locally, in Hermosa Beach, California, Scotty Hemstreet had this happen to him, which is an absolute tragedy. Scotty was a colorful, comedic, attention-loving youngster. Always on a board fo ran adventure, whether that was on four wheels or gliding across an ocean wave. An infectiously positive, wise, and genuine 14-year-old who was loved by the community. A kid who never spoke of experimenting with drugs or needing them for any mental issues was given one a single time and that’s all it took to take away a great kid who had infinite potential. We undermine how serious of an issue this is until we lose someone, just how we take for granted so many things on a daily basis. You can’t overestimate the value of teaching our teens the importance of counterfeit drugs. The surge in abused and tainted pharmaceuticals is on the rise and in the streets, and we can’t afford to roll the dice on any more loss of innocence.
As mentioned earlier, Snapchat is a real problem regarding the distribution, sales, introduction, and integration of drugs and drug dealers. As our youth is so driven by more followers, views, likes, and comments on their social media; what is one more “randomly” added friend on an app like Snapchat? Well, all it takes is a few of these added profiles and they will soon see marketed drugs ranging from nicotine packets and devices to laced pills. It’s seriously that easy and that fast. Social media is difficult to monitor, as there are so many people our teens connect with, it becomes nearly impossible to filter every added person. The danger of social media has multiple heads, in addition to its addictiveness, its cause of depression, and a constant battle of self-image and expectation. You are still left with what seems to be exaggerated, but it’s not: the chance of death. One bad connection and misleading source offers what seems to be a legitimate pharmaceutical, but it’s actually a fake pill laced with fentanyl. These pills tend to sell for as little as $5-$10. However, once they are ingested, they can end a life immediately. It’s that serious! These things are real and it’s happening on social media. We all have to take on the responsibility of increasing awareness, educating ourselves and our kids about the dangers and effects of fentanyl-laced drugs that are ravaging our community.
It's time to talk to our teens about the dangers of street pills and fentanyl. If you don't know where to start or feel like you need assistance with having this conversation, educating your teens, or safeguarding your teen's cell phone from dangerous apps, please contact our team. We can help you navigate this challenging and dangerous new epidemic and keep your loved ones safe.