Greenhouse Treatment Center Provides Advice for Parents on Counterfeit Pills and Fentanyl Crisis Following Recent Deaths of Local Students

Greenhouse Treatment Center Provides Advice for Parents on Counterfeit Pills and Fentanyl Crisis Following Recent Deaths of Local Students

Greenhouse Treatment Center Provides Advice for Parents on Counterfeit Pills and Fentanyl Crisis Following Recent Deaths of Local Students

GRAND PRAIRIE, Tx., Feb. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With the tragic spate of overdose deaths continuing to occur across the country and among a very young demographic, Greenhouse Treatment Center is urging parents to learn more about how pervasive lethal substances in the form of counterfeit pills have become, the ease with which they are accessed, and just how close we all are to this issue. Recently, 10 Texas high school and middle school students overdosed on fentanyl, which led to three deaths.

“Counterfeit pills are easy to find and even easier to buy,” said Tyler Harrell, CEO of Greenhouse Treatment Center. “Social media and the convenience of e-commerce platforms has made it so that anyone who knows how to use Snapchat and/or Instagram can very easily obtain potentially lethal counterfeit pills.”

By definition, counterfeit pills are illicit substances intentionally made to look identical to legitimate prescription medications. Oxycodone is an often-mimicked medication, but now Adderall, Xanax, Percocet and even the over-the-counter medication Tylenol are now being found in counterfeit forms containing fentanyl.

Fentanyl is the fundamental driver of what some have now defined as the “fourth wave” of the opioid crisis. In 2021, more than 88% of all opioid overdose deaths were due to illicitly manufactured fentanyl. No longer are legitimate prescription medications the main culprit of the swath of overdose deaths we tragically continue to experience; the difference now is that overdose deaths are occurring in those who are not opioid users.

“Many people have a preconceived image of what someone who overdoses looks like, and often, it couldn’t be further from reality,” said Harrell. “Young people experimenting with substances during a night out, a teenager purchasing Xanax via Snapchat or WhatsApp, a college student seeking to use Adderall as a study aid – those are the lives being lost.”

Individuals who use psychostimulants, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, or those who are seeking Xanax or other medications are unaware that the drug they’re ingesting has been adulterated with fentanyl. These users – who may not even be addicted to substances – have no tolerance to opioids making them especially vulnerable to respiratory suppression caused by opioids after just one use.

“As a parent who has revived their own child from a fentanyl overdose, I cannot begin to stress to other parents that this very well could happen to you,” said Philip Van Guilder, community affairs director at Greenhouse Treatment Center. “If your child knows how to use a social media platform, an arrangement to obtain a potentially fatal pill can be made right in front of you and you’d never know. Teach them and talk to them about this topic. Our kids will make mistakes, but do your best to ensure that it won’t be the last one they make.”

Greenhouse Treatment Center offers the following advice for parents:

​​Don’t bury your head in the sand. This could happen to your child, and it’s better to be ahead of the problem than behind it. All kids make mistakes, and with the potency of some of these pills, one mistake can be deadly.

Teach your kid to be bold, say “no,” and resist peer pressure. Outdated drug prevention programs for middle schoolers, like D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), are being replaced with Keepin’ it REAL (Refuse, Explain, Avoid, Leave). This modern program draws on culture-centered practices and ethics to teach students how to recognize risks, value their feelings, and live drug-free lives.

Talk about mental health with your child. Many youths experience anxiety and depression as they navigate school, friends, sports, and other challenges. Start conversations and regular check-ins with your child, so they don’t feel like they need to solve the problem on their own by seeking medication from unsafe sources.

Teach your child where safe medication comes from. Explain that the only pills they should consume are those prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Medication can be an effective tool in treating mental health and addiction, when recommended by a medical professional and from a safe source. The stigma surrounding mental health and addiction treatment could be one reason kids are turning to the black market instead of reaching out for help.

About Greenhouse Treatment Center
Greenhouse Treatment Center is located near Dallas, TX. Greenhouse treats patients who are struggling with drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental/behavioral health issues. For more information, call 972-362-6787.

Greenhouse Treatment Center
1171 107th St.
Grand Prairie, TX 75050

Maz Rodriguez
Public Relations Manager