Signs of drug abuse: What you need to know about Fentanyl

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 7:23 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - We have continuing coverage of the fentanyl crisis here in Wichita Falls.

Local healthcare professionals are now speaking up on the dangers of fentanyl. News Channel 6 spoke to a doctor who is giving tips to parents on how you can talk to your kids.

Dr. Sonja Calliste, a family psychiatrics and nurse practitioner at Rose Street Clinic, is growing concerned about the rising number of fentanyl deaths. Calliste said there is a way for parents to get their children to open up about fentanyl if they believe their kids are using the drug.

Calliste said the first approach parents need to take in building trust is approaching them in a soft manner. She said being too harsh can push teens and young adults away. Here’s what to look out for.

“You want to make sure that they understand but at the same time you don’t want them to make it seem like you’re judging them because they can easily tune you out if you just start saying you better not or don’t take this,” Calliste said. “Just talk to them and let them know. Explain the reality to them about it, like why you shouldn’t take it, what is happening and tell them about the number of people that it’s affecting and the danger of the medication and how it’s hurting out community overall.”

Calliste said when talking to children, teens and young adults, parents should also be clear to mention that fentanyl is odorless and tasteless and the drug is too small to be seen.

“When they have or maybe be overdosing on this drug, they may have like pin-point pupil, foaming at the mouth, they may have a change in the level of consciousness, their body may stiffen up like their having a seizure, so those are just some signs and symptoms that you can look for,” Calliste said.

Calliste said there are things that come into play when someone overdoses on fentanyl, such as the amount of times they’ve taken the drug, body size and weight are a few factors. Here’s what you can talk to your kids or family member.

She added there are still a lot of unknown factors about fentanyl and she stressed that people should not purchase prescription drugs off the streets. She advised people to get their prescriptions from their doctor.