What Parents Need To Know

Tips for Preventing and Identifying Teen Drug Use

Check out some tips from the experts about how to begin to talk with your teen about drugs. It may be one of the most important conversations you ever have with your child. In this age of deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl infiltrating the drug supply in the United States, it may just save their life.


Danielle M. Dick, Ph.D., is a tenured Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where she serves as the inaugural director of the Rutgers Addiction Research Center and holds the Greg Brown Endowed Chair in Neuroscience. She is an internationally recognized and award-winning expert on genetic and environmental influences on human behavior.

Source: Psychology Today, March 15, 2023, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/genes-environments-and-human-behavior/202303/teen-substance-use

Teen Substance Use: Here’s What Every Parent Needs to Know


  • Adolescence is the time when most kids initiate substance use, establish regular patterns of use, and start to experience consequences.
  • Adolescents have brains wired for risk-taking, which is a result of the fact that the brain isn’t fully developed until the mid-20s.
  • There are actions that parents can take to reduce the likelihood that their teen will initiate substance use or use in risky ways.

I direct one of the largest addiction research centers in the country, and I study substance use in adolescence. Here’s what every parent needs to know about adolescent substance use.

1. Adolescence is the time when most kids initiate substance use.

It's when they establish regular patterns of use, and many start to experience consequences. About 15 percent of the population will meet the criteria for a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, meaning that substance use is causing significant harmful consequences. The average age of onset for problems is in the early 20s, so most problems start in adolescence. That’s why we focus so much substance use prevention programming on teens.

2. Adolescents have brains that are wired for risk-taking.

This is a result of the fact that the brain doesn’t develop evenly. The part of the brain that is highly attuned to experiencing reward is fully developed in adolescence. That’s a product of evolution—if our brains didn’t respond positively to food, social interactions, and sex, as a species, we wouldn’t survive very long. Those things make us feel good, and we seek out more of them.

But as we all know, too much of a good thing can lead to trouble. The part of our brain that helps us weigh the consequences of our actions and think about long-term implications isn’t fully developed until the mid-20s. So, teenagers are like race cars without fully functional brakes. Using drugs is a novel experience that adolescent brains crave—and then drugs hijack the reward system by producing feel-good effects. It’s a big part of the reason why most adolescent substance use is risky adolescent substance use. Teens don’t have a glass of wine with dinner; if one drink is good, their reward-primed brains tell them, five drinks must be better! Of course, there is a lot of individual variability in this trait, but developmentally, teenage brains are at a high point for risk-taking.

3. The drugs available to kids today are more dangerous than in the past.

Vaping has risen tremendously in popularity, with one in four youths reporting that they have vaped. Vapes come in fun flavors and are easy to hide; most youth (and parents) do not realize that a single vape can contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.

Cannabis use is on the rise as most states have legalized marijuana for either medicinal or recreational purposes. Up to 11 percent of youth report using cannabis daily. This is the drug most of us who study adolescent substance use are most worried about presently.

The marijuana available today is nearly 10 times stronger than the marijuana that was available in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and up through the 2000s. Early research is showing potent adverse effects on memory and motivation in kids who use regularly. The level of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, was about 3 percent until the early 2000s; it is now close to 25 percent in the marijuana available today, and up to 90 percent in edibles like gummies! Many parents are unaware of just how different and dangerous this drug is compared to how they remember marijuana. Parents, think of it this way: If marijuana use in your youth was the equivalent of having a beer, when your kids use marijuana, it’s more like drinking a liter of vodka.

Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid which can be produced far more cheaply than other opioids, has flooded the drug market as a result of the opioid epidemic. It is the top cause of accidental overdoses, which have grown exponentially over the past several years. The concern now is that it’s not only opioids that are laced with fentanyl; it’s other drugs as well. Increasingly, cocaine, ecstasy, and other street drugs also contain fentanyl, leading to accidental overdoses in youth who experiment.

4. Alcohol remains the most widely used drug in youth.

It is the most available drug, so it continues to be the one most kids use recklessly, leading to injuries, fights, unwanted sexual behavior and assaults, accidents, and death. Well-meaning parents have asked me if, due to the increasing availability of more dangerous drugs, they should instead encourage their child to take the “least-worse” path and stick to alcohol.

There are two reasons this isn’t a good idea. First, it assumes that all kids will use alcohol or other drugs, which is not the case. We don’t want to inadvertently normalize substance use in our kids. Many youth choose not to drink. Rates of alcohol use have fallen steadily over the past decade, with national data showing that only 55 percent of high school seniors report using alcohol in the past year.

Secondly, there is no evidence that when youth use alcohol it deters them from using other drugs. In fact, the opposite is true. Youth who use alcohol are more likely to try other drugs as well. When the novelty of alcohol wears off (remember they have sensation-seeking brains!), they move on to trying other drugs.

5. Parents can make a difference.

Parents, don’t despair! There are actions you can take to reduce the likelihood your teen will initiate substance use or use in risky ways.

  • Monitor your kids. Know who they are with, where they are going, what they are up to. Remove easy access to alcohol in your house. Parental monitoring is the number-one thing that research shows reduces substance use in teens. Kids can’t use alcohol and other drugs if they don’t have access. You can make it harder for them to get access. Remember, their brains aren’t in a place to help them make the best choices; you have to make up the difference.

  • Talk to your kids about alcohol and other drugs. Ask your child questions about substance use in their school and among their friends. Ask what they think about using alcohol or other drugs. Use this as an opportunity to have a conversation about substance use. Be clear about the rules and expectations in your house, and—this part is key—outline and implement consequences if they are broken. It’s normal for teens to push boundaries, and the unfun part of being a parent is that we have to serve as the referees. But unfortunately, this isn’t a game; your child’s life is at stake.

Connecting With Your Teenager to Prevent Drug Use


Source: Partnership to End Addiction, Updated September 2023, https://drugfree.org/article/connecting-with-your-teenager/

Parents are the biggest influence in a teen’s life. Even though you may feel your child pulling away, eager for more independence, deep down they still want you involved. A strong bond with your child, especially during the teen years, helps reduce the chances of them engaging in unhealthy behavior and helps set the stage for preventing nicotine, alcohol and drug use.

Stay involved

Staying involved and keeping tabs on teens’ activities — both online and off — can be another way of demonstrating that you care and can help develop a stronger parent-teen relationship. This is especially true if you communicate the reason why you’re interested in their actions and whereabouts. It’s important to stress that it’s not to be nosy or intrusive, but rather because you’re interested and care about them.

Parents often find themselves between a rock and a hard place when raising teens. It’s a delicate balance respecting your child’s growing independence while still needing to set rules and boundaries. Finding the right balance requires effective communication, making constant adjustments and staying in touch with what’s going on in their life.

 Some tips to make keeping tabs a seamless part of the routine:

 Share some quality in-person time — without the distraction of electronic devices — whenever you can: during meals, a walk, while you’re in the car, or simply hanging around at home together.

  • Ask specific questions about their day but convey interest and curiosity, rather than making it feel like an interrogation: “Who’d you have lunch with today?”, “How was soccer practice?”, “What’s planned for play rehearsal tonight?”
  • When friends are over, pop in to meet them or say hello, and check in periodically.
  • Talk to their friends’ parents. If you don’t know them yet, introduce yourself the next time there’s an opportunity. You can email them, text or call to say hello.
  • Ask teachers, coaches and other caring adults in your child’s life how they are doing in school or with extracurricular activities.
  • Connect with the school as a volunteer or in other school-sponsored activities.
  • Check in on online and phone activities, especially social media, which also includes having passwords and scanning apps from time to time.

 Your teen may push back, but that’s no reason to back off. Help them understand that you’re involved because you love and want what’s best for them, not because of a lack of trust.

 Find opportunities for real conversation

Keep in mind that teens say that when it comes to substances, their parents are the most important influence. That’s why it’s important to talk — and listen — to your teen. So, try to talk. A lot. Discuss the negative effects of nicotine, alcohol and drugs. Clearly communicate that you do not want your teen using substances. Talk about the short- and long-term effects drugs and alcohol can have on their mental and physical health, safety and ability to make good decisions. Explain to your child that experimenting with drugs or alcohol during this time is risky for their still-developing brain.

  • Look for blocks of time to talk. After dinner, before bed, before school or on the way to or from school and extracurricular activities can work well.
  • Take a walk or go for a drive together. With less eye contact, your teen won’t feel like they are under a microscope.

Approach your talks with openness

  • Keep an open mind. If you want to have a productive conversation with your teen, try to keep an open mind and remain curious and calm. That way, your child is more likely to be receptive to what you have to say.
  • Ask open-ended questions. For a more engaging conversation, you’ll want to get more than just a “yes” or “no” response from your child.
  • Use active listening. Let your teen know they are understood by reflecting back what you hear — either verbatim or just the sentiment. It works like this: You listen without interrupting (no matter what), then sum up what you’ve heard to allow them to confirm. Try these phrases:
    • “It seems like you’re feeling…”
    • “I hear you say you’re feeling…”
    • “Am I right that you’re feeling…”
  • Use “I” statements to keep the flow going. “I” statements let you express yourself without your teenager feeling judged, blamed or attached. You describe the behavior, how you feel about it and how it affects you. Then you spell out what you need. Like this:
    • “When you don’t come home on time, I worry that something terrible has happened. What I need is for you to call me as soon as you know you’re going to be late so that I know you’re okay.”
    • “I feel like you can’t hear what I have to say when you’re so mad. Then I get frustrated. I need to talk about this later when we’re both able to listen.”
    • “Because I love you and I want to keep you safe, I worry about you going to the concert. I need to know that you will obey our rules about not drinking or using drugs.”
  • “I” statements allow you to use persuasion (not control or blame) to cause a change in their behavior. You also allow them to help decide what happens next — another key to bonding.

Offer empathy & support

Let your child know you understand. The teen years can be tough. Acknowledge that everyone struggles sometimes, but drugs and alcohol are not a useful or healthy way to cope with problems. Let your child know they can trust you.

Remind your child that you are there for support and guidance — and that it’s important to you that they’re healthy, happy and make safe choices.

Why Do Teens Use Drugs?


 Source: Get Smart About Drugs, Updated March 31, 2023,https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/family/why-do-teens-use-drugs

The teen years are often a time to explore and learn more about themselves as they approach adulthood. Often, this involves experimenting and testing their boundaries. The desire to do something new or risky is a normal part of teen development.

Teens who perceive little risk in using drugs are more likely to use drugs. Teens may also use drugs or alcohol to:

  • Relieve boredom
  • Feel good
  • Forget their troubles and relax
  • Satisfy their curiosity
  • Ease their pain
  • Feel grown up
  • Show their independence
  • Belong to a specific group

What are the Risk Factors and Protective Factors for Drug Use?

Many factors influence a child’s likelihood to use illegal substances or develop a substance abuse disorder. Effective drug prevention focuses on reducing the risk factors and strengthening the protective factors that are most closely related to substance abuse.

Risk Factors

Risk factors are circumstances or events that increase a child’s use and abuse of drugs. The more risk factors present, the more likely a child may be to use drugs and develop problems. Risk factors for drug use include:

  • Low grades or failure in school
  • Victim of bullying or cyberbullying
  • Low self esteem
  • Permissive parenting
  • Parent or older sibling drug/alcohol use
  • Living in a community with a high tolerance for smoking, drinking, or drug use among youth
  • Attending a school without strict rules for tobacco, alcohol, or drugs and inconsistent enforcement for breaking those rules
  • Belief that there is little risk in using a drug.

 Protective Factors

 Protective factors are those characteristics that can reduce a person's risk for substance abuse or addiction. Protective factors that may decrease the risk of drug use include:

  • Strong bond with a parent or caregiver
  • High self esteem
  • Parent or caregiver who talks regularly with their child about drugs
  • Active in faith-based organizations, school, athletic, or community activities
  • Spending time around positive role models
  • Living in a community that offers youths activities where drugs and alcohol are not tolerated
  • Attending a school with an effective alcohol and drug education program and a non-tolerance policy for alcohol and drugs
  • Belief that using drugs may be harmful or risky

 As a parent you can control many of the risk and protective factors in your home. Remember that parents and caregivers are the most important role models in children’s lives. For more information see Growing up Drug Free: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention.




Source: Get Smart about Drugs, Updated March 31, 2023, https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/content/signs-drug-use

How can you tell if your child is using drugs or alcohol?

Teens are known to have mood swings. However, some behavior may indicate more serious issues, such as abuse of drugs and alcohol. Here are some of the warning signs of drug use.

Problems at school

  • Frequently forgetting homework.
  • Missing classes or skipping school.
  • Disinterest in school or school activities.
  • A drop in grades.

 Physical signs    

  • Lack of energy and motivation.
  • Red eyes and cheeks or difficulty focusing - alcohol use.
  • Red eyes and constricted pupils - marijuana use.
  • A strange burn on your child’s mouth or fingers – smoking something (possibly heroin) through a metal or glass pipe.
  • Chronic nosebleeds – cocaine abuse.

Neglected appearance

  • Lack of interest in clothing, grooming, or appearance is not normal. Teenagers are usually very concerned about how they look.

Changes in behavior

  • Teenagers enjoy privacy, but be aware of excessive attempts to be alone.
  • Exaggerated efforts not to allow family members into their rooms.
  • Not letting you know where they go with friends, or whom they go with.
  • Breaking curfew without a good excuse.
  • Changes in relationships with family.    

Changes in friends

  • No longer is friends with childhood friends.
  • Seems interested in hanging out with older kids.
  • Acts secretive about spending time with new friends.

Money issues

  • Sudden requests for money without a good reason.
  • Money stolen from your wallet or from safe places at home.
  • Items gone from your home. (May be sold to buy drugs.)

Specific smells

  • Odor of marijuana, cigarettes, or alcohol on teen’s breath, on clothing, in the bedroom, or in the car.


DEA’s Operation Engage provides tips for parents on this important topic.



Here are some videos to help you identify potential signs of teen drug use.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t7tMDo8Jik

Source: Click2Houston, March 20, 2023, https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2023/03/20/kprc-2-investigates-sneaky-devices-your-kids-could-be-using-to-hide-drugs/


Eyes Wide Open: Spotting the Signs of Substance Use

Source: Awkward Conversations, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AayBZzPONNM          


The days when drug deals typically took place primarily on darkened street corners are long gone. Social media platforms are now among the most popular places to go for purchasing and selling drugs.  Given the high rate of social media usage among teens, they are particularly at risk of being influenced by drug dealers advertising their illicit products through sites such as Snapchat or Instagram.  Parents need to be aware that teens across the country are increasingly dying from pills they purchased on the internet that, often unknown to them, were found to be laced with lethal fentanyl.

Source, Drug Enforcement Administration, January 2022, https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2022-03/20220208-DEA_Social%20Media%20Drug%20Trafficking%20Threat%20Overview.pdf

As part of the One Pill Can Kill Campaign, the DEA issued its "Emoji Drug Code - Decoded," as a reference guide to give parents, caregivers, educators, and others a better sense of how emojis are being used to purchase illegal drugs. With the recent spike in fentanyl-related deaths, officials are warning parents that smartphones and social media platforms could be contributing to the problem. Do you know what each emoji code means?

Source, Drug Enforcement Administration, https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2021-12/Emoji%20Decoded.pdf

A similar chart was released as part of Texas’s One Pill Kills Campaign.

ENGLISH: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/health-safety-discipline/safe-and-supportive-schools/fentanyl-crisis-emoji-drug-code-red-with-one-pill-kills.pdf
SPANISH: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/health-safety-discipline/safe-and-supportive-schools/fentanyl-crisis-emoji-drug-code-red-with-one-pill-kills-es.pdf

Source: Get Smart about Drugs, https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/content/talking-your-child-when-you-suspect-drug-use

Choose the right time to talk. When talking to your child be sure your child is sober or has not been using drugs before talking about drugs and alcohol.

Voice your suspicion. Begin by expressing your concerns without making accusations. “Susan, I suspect you may be smoking pot occasionally. I love you and I’m concerned about you. Is there something going on that we need to talk about?”

Be specific. Explain what you observed to make you concerned. For example, you found missing pills or an empty pill bottle. Or your child’s appearance indicates a problem.

Be prepared for strong reactions. Your child may accuse you of snooping or say you’re crazy. Stay calm.

Reinforce what you think about drug use. Tell her how much you care for him or her.

Get help from the experts. Contact the school counselor, school nurse, or family doctor about your concerns.

For more information, see Growing Up Drug Free.https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/publication/growing-drug-free-parents-guide-substance-use-prevention

A teen who is using drugs or alcohol needs to be evaluated by a professional for a possible substance abuse disorder. See Treatment and Recovery.https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/consequences/treatment-and-recovery


Partnership to End Addiction
Main Source: https://drugfree.org/prevention-and-early-action/











Free Downloadable Book on Vaping
From the Fort Bend Community Prevention Coalition

Source: http://fortbendcpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Hidden-in-Plain-Sight-Book-with-Front-Cover.pdf



Talk to Your Teen About Fentanyl

 Parents…Make sure your teens understand…One Pill Can Kill.


Just how big is the threat from fentanyl in the Houston area?

The facts are alarming…

Drug overdoses have risen steeply throughout the United States with illicit fentanyl at the forefront of this public health crisis. The main factor driving the rise in fentanyl-involved deaths is that this lethal substance is being found more often in a broader array of drug types. Crime laboratory testing of seized drugs in the Houston HIDTA indicate that fentanyl is being found mixed with heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and in counterfeit prescription pills. Drugs suspected to be heroin or cocaine are also more frequently testing positive solely for fentanyl. Of seized counterfeit pills, fake oxycodone tablets are the primary type in which fentanyl is identified. However, taking any pill obtained illicitly is analogous to playing a game of Russian roulette as other types of seized tablets also sometimes contain fentanyl. Fentanyl has changed the landscape of the drug threat environment to such an extent that the use of almost any illicit drug could potentially expose an individual to dangerous synthetic opioids. Tragically, death data for the region is reflecting this growing threat. In Harris County, the most populous county in Texas, almost half (49%) of the drug-related deaths in 2022 involved fentanyl or a fentanyl analog.

Read about CDC's Stop Overdose Campaign

Read more at https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html  


Source: DEA’s One Pill Can Kill Campaign, dea.gov/onepill

Click on the links to the Ad Council’s Fentanyl Campaign below to learn more about this deadly substance at the epicenter of the National Overdose Crisis.


 Read More: https://dropthefbomb.com/

Other Fentanyl-Related Resources: Song for Charlie

 Source: https://songforcharlie.org/

Source: https://songforcharlie.org/the-new-drug-talk/



In the age of fentanyl, everyone needs to know about naloxone (most commonly known by the brand name Narcan). Fortunately, in March of 2023, the FDA changed the status of this life-saving medication from a prescription drug to one that is available over-the counter in its nasal spray form. Not only does FDA’s action pave the way to making Narcan more accessible to all, a second naloxone nasal spray called ReVive was approved for over-the-counter use in July of 2023.

What Parents Need to Know About Naloxone for Opioid Overdose

Source: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/substance-abuse/Pages/what-parents-need-to-know-about-naloxone-for-opioid-overdose.aspx

​Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, MS, FAAP, is the Chief of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He holds triple board certification in General Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine, and Addiction Medicine, and his work focuses on adolescent and young adult substance use disorder prevention and treatment.

An overdose crisis is affecting children, adolescents and adults across the United States. Most drug overdoses in young people are caused by opioids.

Opioids have long been used medically to treat pain. But highly potent opioids like fentanyl, which is rampant throughout the illicit drug market, are now the leading cause of overdose deaths across all ages.

If someone in your home takes opioids for any reason, you should carry naloxone. Naloxone is a lifesaving medication that can reverse an opioid overdose in minutes. It's available as a nasal spray that is easy to administer. (See "Where to get naloxone," below.)

Who should carry naloxone?

Naloxone is recommended for anyone who:

  • uses opioids (especially heroin or fentanyl) without a prescription or in a way the doctor did not intend
  • has a substance use disorder ("addiction")
  • lives with someone who uses opioids in a nonmedical way or who has a substance use disorder
  • has opioids in the home (from a prescription, for example)—particularly if small children are in the home who might unintentionally ingest them

Fentanyl: a potent opioid fueling an overdose crisis

Opioids are the most common cause of poisoning deaths in children. Fentanyl is one of the most potent opioids. It can quickly cause an overdose, especially in children and adolescents. Fentanyl is at least 50 times more potent than heroin. A dose of fentanyl that fits on the tip of a pencil can be deadly.


Source: American Academy of Pediatrics,

Fentanyl is sometimes used medically to treat pain or for anesthesia. However, the fentanyl that is widely available in the illicit drug market and in counterfeit pills is illegally manufactured and highly dangerous. Public health experts blame illicit fentanyl for the sharp increase in overdoses.

Fake prescription pills & other drugs laced with fentanyl

Among adolescents aged 10-19, fake (counterfeit) pills are to blame for nearly a quarter of poisoning and overdose deaths. Fake pills are widely available for purchase in the illicit drug market and through social media platforms that teens commonly use, such as TikTok and Snapchat. These pills are made to look like real prescription pills like oxycodone or Xanax. Instead, the fake pills commonly include a deadly amount of illicit fentanyl, and is sometimes also combined with other drugs like xylazine.

Fentanyl has also been found in lethal quantities in other drugs like cocaine.

Xylazine: an emerging threat

Xylazine is a prescription sedative and pain reliever for animals. It is not safe for people. Xylazine is sometimes mixed with fentanyl or heroin and can cause serious side effects. Signs of an overdose of xylazine are similar to signs of an opioid overdose. It is increasingly common in the illicit drug markets in the Northeast United States. It is likely to appear in other states soon, too. Naloxone may help in a xylazine overdose, but because xylazine is not an opioid, it is often not effective. If you suspect someone has overdosed on xylazine, call 911 immediately.

Signs of opioid overdose

Signs of an opioid overdose may include:

  • unconsciousness or unresponsiveness (doesn't wake up when shaken or called)
  • shallow, slow or no breathing
  • limpness
  • pale skin, with blue lips or fingertips
  • slow or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • vomiting or gurgling noises
  • slurred speech
  • center part of the eye is very small (called "pinpoint pupils")

How do you know when to use naloxone?

Naloxone should be administered at the first sign of overdose symptoms. This is especially important for toddlers and small children, who may inadvertently take medication or encounter a counterfeit pill. Follow the instructions on the package.

After giving someone naloxone, call 911 right away

Naloxone is a temporary treatment, and its effects do not last long. A person who has overdosed and who receives naloxone will usually wake up within 1-3 minutes. Stay with the person, even if they are conscious, until emergency medical help arrives.

The person could lapse back into unconsciousness and might need another dose of naloxone. This is because the overdose can worsen and last for up to several hours, whereas naloxone can wear off after 30 to 90 minutes. Keep trying to wake the person up and keep them breathing. Also, lay them on their side to prevent them from choking if they are unconscious.

After naloxone, the person may have body aches, diarrhea, fast heart rate, fever, runny nose, sneezing, goose bumps, sweating, yawning, upset stomach, vomiting, nervousness, restlessness, shivering or trembling, weakness and high blood pressure. Some people have sudden symptoms of opioid withdrawal and may seem irritable.

Where to get naloxone

Naloxone can be purchased without a prescription at retail pharmacies in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. All you need to do is contact your local pharmacy and state that you would like to receive naloxone through your state's "standing order." You will need to provide your name and date of birth, and your insurance will be charged. Often, the copay is $0. You can also find free naloxone in your community. It is often given out by local organizations.

Is naloxone safe for infants and children?

Yes. Naloxone can be used for a suspected overdose in infants, children, teens, adults and the elderly. There is virtually no downside to giving naloxone to a child or teen, even if you are not sure if they overdosed on opioids. (Babies treated for neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome may require an alternate product recommended by their pediatrician instead of naloxone.)

Forms of naloxone available

There are two forms of naloxone: a nasal spray and a shot that is injected. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray (also known as Narcan). It will be available in late summer 2023. Anyone will be able to buy the nasal spray at drug stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and online.

What is nalmefene?

The FDA recently approved a prescription nasal spray called nalmefene (also known as Opvee). Nalmefene nasal spray is for emergency treatment of opioid overdose in people age 12 years and older.


Always store medications in a locked medicine cabinet or box that is out of reach. Dispose of unused prescription medications and keep illicit drugs out of your home.

Source: CDC – Stop Overdose (https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/naloxone/index.html)

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odlFtGNjmMQ