Synthetic opiates (pain-killers) that are 50-100 times stronger than the analgesic and narcotic drug obtained from opium and used medicinally to relieve pain are increasingly available to our communities. These synthetic opioids are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. The Mississippi Opioid and Data Collaborative reports that in 2021, 280 overdose deaths in Mississippi involved the most common of opioid drugs used in the treatment of severe pain, representing an 18% increase in just one year. It serves as a cheap additive for street drugs. 

These drugs can be pressed into counterfeit pills disguised as Xanax, Hydrocodone, and other pills with street value, and some traffickers have now started disguising these drugs in popular candy brands and in rainbow-colored pills in an attempt to appeal to young children and teens and move them across our country avoiding detection. This is alarming in so many ways! 

Parents, teachers, faith leaders, coaches, … if you have talked with your kids, talk to them again, and then maybe one more time for good measure. If you suspect someone you care about may be using any substances, we are here to help. It is never too early to intervene, but it can be too late.