The teen years always have been fraught with angst, both for the teens themselves and their parents.
The combination of newfound freedom and dramatic changes in mind and body present a treacherous journey worthy of the Scylla and Charybdis for every teen, no matter how anchored they may appear to be.
That’s why the discovery of a small baggie of powdered drugs at Revere High School earlier this month raised alarm bells for every parent, raising the spectre of a parent’s worst nightmare.
Initial test results showed the powder to contain the recreational substances MDMA and ketamine, with the Revere Police Department awaiting state lab test results to determine if there was any deadly fentanyl in the mix of drugs.
Drug use among teens is nothing new — it has been a problem across the country (indeed, throughout the world) since the 1970s. The urge to experiment, often going hand-in-hand with peer pressure, all too often leads too many young people to give the drug du jour a try.
However, today’s recreational drugs are not their grandparents’. What is different today is that the typical street drugs favored by teens, from cocaine and marijuana to other pills and powders, often are laced with fentanyl, the highly-deadly synthetic substance that has caused a huge spike in overdose deaths across the country in the past few years. While fentanyl is most prevalent in heroin, there has also been a surge in deadly counterfeit pills cut with fentanyl and other substances that have helped fuel overdose deaths.
Drug dealers are adding fentanyl to their “products” knowing fully well that it is a poison that will kill its users. In the past, drug overdoses almost always occurred among habitual narcotic users, but today, drug overdoses attributed to fentanyl are taking the lives of scores of our young people — whose first experimental use of drugs proved to be their last.
We applaud the immediate and proactive action that was taken by Revere school authorities and city officials in response to the discovery of those drugs at Revere High. The need to educate our young people about the imminent danger of ingesting ANY illegal drugs is crucial in order to avoid a tragedy.
Parents also need to step up and have a talk with their children — no matter how young — about the imminent danger that lurks from using illegal substances.
Drug overdoses claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Americans last year — that ‘s 2000 per week — and everybody in our community must do their part to ensure that the children of our city do not number among those grim statistics.