The Increasing Danger of Fentanyl To America’s Youth

Jan 13, 2023 | Drug Testing

Fentanyl is not just a danger or concern for individuals suffering from addiction, it should be of concern to occasional and even first-time recreational users. Be sure your children are aware of the dangers of fentanyl. A good resource is

Recent data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse “Monitoring the Future” survey further illustrates the danger. Read excerpts below or read the full text here:

Though the data have indicated stable or declining use of illicit drugs among young people over many years, other research has reported a recent dramatic rise in overdose deaths among young people ages 14-18. This increase is largely attributed to illicit fentanyl, a potent synthetic drug, contaminating the supply of counterfeit pills made to resemble prescription medications like benzodiazepines, ADHD medications, and opioids.

“The proliferation of fentanyl in the drug supply is of enormous concern. Though the data indicate that drug use is not becoming more common among young people than it has been in the past, the tragic increase in overdose deaths among this population suggest that drug use is becoming more dangerous than ever before,” said Dr. Volkow. “It is absolutely crucial to educate young people that pills purchased via social media, given to someone by a friend, or obtained from an unknown source may contain deadly fentanyl.”

About the survey:

The Monitoring the Future survey is given annually to students in eighth, 10th, and 12th grades who self-report their substance use behaviors over various time periods, such as past 30 days, past 12 months, and lifetime. The survey also documents students’ perception of harm, disapproval of use, and perceived availability of drugs. Notably, the survey results are released the same year the data are collected.

“The Monitoring the Future Survey is one of the best and most timely tools we have to monitor and understand changes in substance use among young people over time, including through historic events such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nora Volkow, M.D., NIDA director. “It is encouraging that we did not observe a significant increase in substance use in 2022, even as young people largely returned to in-person school, extracurricular activities, and other social engagements.”