Informed Families Catalyst

Summertime Safety: Educating Kids on the Dangers of Substance Misuse

Posted by Informed Families on June 10, 2023 at 9:43 PM

Summertime is a season filled with joy, adventure, and the perfect opportunity for kids (and educators!) to take a break from their studies and enjoy some well-deserved fun.  However, it's crucial to acknowledge that the summer months can also present potential risks, particularly when it comes to substance misuse among children. 

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With parents often at work and more free time available, kids may find themselves tempted to experiment with harmful substances. By equipping them with knowledge, we can empower children to make informed decisions and stay safe.

The Dark Reality:

In 2022, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized an astonishing 50+ million counterfeit pills. What's truly alarming is that 6 out of 10 of these pills contained a lethal dose of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Fentanyl, even in small amounts, can be incredibly dangerous and potentially fatal. The statistics paint a grim picture, but they also underscore the importance of spreading awareness among children and adolescents about the risks associated with misusing prescription pills.

Empowering Kids through Knowledge:

Education is a powerful tool in preventing substance misuse. When children are aware of the startling facts and potential consequences, they are 65% less likely to consider misusing prescription pills. By arming kids with information, we can help them make responsible choices and prioritize their well-being during the summer months.

Starting the Conversation: Key Talking Points

Parents, educators, and caregivers play a crucial role in initiating conversations about substance misuse with children. It's essential to create an open and non-judgmental environment where kids feel comfortable discussing their concerns and asking questions. Use age-appropriate language and provide concrete examples to help them understand the gravity of the situation.

  1. Recognizing Counterfeit Pills: Teach children to be cautious and aware of pills that may appear similar to prescription medication but could contain harmful substances. Encourage them to consult a trusted adult or medical professional if they are unsure about the authenticity of any medication.

  2. Understanding the Dangers of Fentanyl: Explain to children that even a tiny amount of fentanyl can be lethal. Help them comprehend the potential consequences of ingesting counterfeit pills containing this dangerous substance.
    Encouraging Safe Practices: Emphasize the importance of never accepting or consuming medication without a proper prescription. Teach kids to appreciate the significance of medical supervision and the dangers of self-medicating or sharing pills with others.

  3. Seeking Help and Support: Make sure children know that they can always turn to a trusted adult if they have concerns or if they come across suspicious substances. Encourage open communication and assure them that they will be supported and guided through any challenging situation.

Resources for a Safe & Fun Summer

  • Red Ribbon Week is October 23rd-31st. Here is the planning guide which can be used all year round! Click Here to download our planning guide.
  • Celebrate the Power of Caring Relationships in Building Children’s Emotional Well-Being. Mental Health is Health! Click here for fun, kid-friendly mental health resources.
  • Share the Natural High Fentanyl 6-Minute video and Free Fentanyl Toolkit as You Send Your Students Off into the Sunshine with Their Parents.


As the summer season approaches, it's crucial to equip children with the knowledge and tools they need to stay safe and make responsible choices. By educating them about the dangers of counterfeit pills and the presence of lethal substances like fentanyl, we can empower children to make informed decisions, resist peer pressure, and prioritize their well-being. Let's work together to ensure that this summertime is filled with fun, adventure, and most importantly, safety for all our children.

Topics: drugs, opioids, summer, fentanyl, mental health

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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