#parent | #kids | ‘One pill can kill’: Keeping your kids safe from fake prescription pills

POST FALLS, Idaho – Authorities are seeing more and more fake prescription pills around North Idaho and they want parents to know that there are different ways students can get a hold of them.

A Post Falls high schooler overdosed Thursday. Captain Mark Brantl, with Post Falls Police, says the student believed it was a painkiller, which police suspect has been laced with fentanyl.  Another student who is suspected of selling the pill is now in custody.

Now, the district and Post Falls Police Department are focusing their efforts on educating parents and families.

READ: Officers use Narcan to revive Post Falls High School student suffering opioid overdose

The district says they are doing whatever they can to educate kids about drugs. Superintendent Dena Naccarato says every year, staff educate kids on the dangers of opioids and other drugs. Naccarato said they send our numerous communications with parents warning about fentanyl as it circulates around North Idaho.

“Student safety is our number one every day, all day. So, I feel like our schools are safe and we do everything we can. Not only do we have school resource officers, but we have prevention deans. We have eyes on kids every single day, and so our schools are safe. This is a very unfortunate incident,” she said.

Katie Brown, whose kids are in the district, is concerned knowing a student overdosed while at school. She feels confident the district is doing whatever it can to keep students safe.

As a parent, she says the only thing she can do is talk to her own kids about the dangers of drug use and just be open with them.

“Anyone can think that, ‘Oh well, my kid wouldn’t do that.’ Well yeah. I think that my kid wouldn’t do that. My kid wouldn’t take a pill, but you never know, so you have to have those conversations,” Brown said.

Brown ended up talking to her kids that same night she received word about the overdose. She’s telling her kids to not trust any pill from other people.

“You never know what it’s laced with and one pill can kill you,” she said.

The district is focusing on educating kids about the issue and even brings K9s in for checks. However, Post Falls Police and the school district are also asking parents to have discussions with their kids.

PFPD says fake prescription pills are spreading more around the area.

“They are not the pharmaceutical-grade medication that you’re getting from the pharmacy. They are typically laced with fentanyl, which is a highly potent opioid to the point where it’s 50 times more potent than heroin,” Capt. Brantl said.

One way kids could be getting a hold of them is through social media. Naccarato said she first learned on Thursday that students can buy drugs through Snapchat, other social media website and other apps.

“I think that the bigger thing is making sure that everybody is aware of the accessibility of different drugs to students,” Naccarato said.

While Thursday’s situation is still under investigation, Brantl said Snapchat is a common way drug dealers are talking with the customers in previous investigations.

“I just want to stress that as a parent,  I have chats with my kids about being safe and making good choices and just encourage parents to make sure they’re having those conversations,” Brantl added.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says there are a few ways you can help prevent your kids from buying drugs online.

  • Keep an open line of communication with them
  • Talk to them about the consequences of drug use
  • Check your kid’s Google searches and social media if you suspect drug use or them trying to buy
  • Monitor packages that are being delivered to them

“With social media, with these different apps, what their kids are doing on their phones, we need to partner together to do everything we can to keep our kids safe,” Naccarato said.

The DEA says there are emojis that kids could be use to talk about drugs. You can find out what some of them mean here.

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