Your Comprehensive Guide to the Opioid Epidemic — and What You Can Do About It

Fueled by drugs like heroin, fentanyl and the misuse of prescription pain pills, the opioid epidemic in our country has impacted countless families.

To help address this, we created a new eBookHeroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: A Comprehensive Resource for Families with a Teen or Young Adult Struggling with Opioid Use. Parents and families need to be prepared with the knowledge and skills to identify opioids, spot early use and take action effectively.

If your son or daughter is actively using opioids, you’re probably experiencing many negative emotions and concerns. You’re not alone in this struggle. We hope that the information and resources in this guide will move you and your child in the direction of greater well-being and health.

There’s a lot of information provided in this eBook and we realize it might be overwhelming. Here are seven key takeaways to get you started:

  1. Have on-going conversations with your teen or young adult about the risks of substance use, especially opioids (i.e., prescription pain medications like Percocet® and Vicodin®, as well as heroin). (page 14 in the guide)
  2. Seek non-opioid alternatives to manage your child’s pain from any injuries, dental work or other situations requiring pain management. (page 17 in the guide)
  3. Monitor, secure and properly dispose of any prescription pain medications in your home. While it may be tempting to keep pain medications “just in case you might need them,” the safer course of action is to dispose of all expired or unused medication since family and friends are the primary source of prescription pain pills. (page 19 in the guide)
  4. Know the signs of opioid misuse such as pinpoint pupils, fatigue, weight loss, drug paraphernalia, wearing long sleeves, etc. (page 19 in the guide)
  5. Get an evaluation to determine your treatment options if your child is misusing opioids including medications. Comprehensive, evidence-based treatment works — the earlier you intervene and take action, the better. (page 21 in the guide)
  6. Get and know how to use Naloxone (Narcan®) as a precautionary measure against overdose. (page 35 in the guide)
  7. Practice self-care, which may include your own counseling and attending a support group. You are your child’s best advocate and your resiliency matters. (page 39 in the guide)