Over the last decade, fentanyl has become the number one cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45. Despite this, it wasn’t until recently that heightened concerns emerged regarding minors’ use of the deadly drug.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has used the phrase, “Using just one time can kill” to describe fentanyl’s deadly effects on individuals.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is a “powerful synthetic opioid analgesic” that can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl’s adverse side effects may include hallucinations, negative impact on the respiratory system, seizures and overdose. Now, Florida officials are rushing to find ways to decrease fentanyl’s impact in the state.
Even though some teenagers might think they’re not purchasing fentanyl, it’s not promised that the deadly drug isn’t contained in the vapes they purchase. As a result, vaping restrictions have become part of the fight against fentanyl for some politicians like Moody. She and other leaders have urged children to refrain from using them due to the unknown long-term effects it has on one’s health.
“Any substance sold on the black market could contain fentanyl … counterfeit pills, cocaine, meth and possibly even in illicit vaping pods,” Moody said.
Though vapes are notorious for targeting children with vibrant colors and appealing flavors, fentanyl is also being marketed toward minors as it’s frequently transported in candy wrappers.
On Oct. 25, Moody cautioned parents against the use of fentanyl and its sometimes dubious packaging.
During holidays, “Those of us with young children have to have these conversations and start learning about the fentanyl crisis and warning our children,” Moody said in a press conference. This includes Valentine’s Day, Halloween and other occasions when youth may be exposed.
Moody noted that CBD and THC, two compounds commonly found in cannabis products, were also found in vapes sold to minors.
When combining the two, fentanyl’s potency as well as unknown health problems associated with vapes could be severe and considered a public safety risk. One of the biggest motives that sellers have for putting fentanyl into vape cartridges is that it can provide them a larger profit due to the drug’s cost-effectiveness and potency.
Considering this trend of fentanyl-tainted vapes, Moody and other officials will continue to urge teens to refrain from using it due to how dangerous and lethal its effects can be.
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Featured image: Prescription pills. (Unmodified photo by Mark Youso used under a Creative Commons License https://bit.ly/3fMCd7a.)