Attorney General Moody Launches Idle Time: A Summer Safety Series with a Warning About Fentanyl and Other Dangerous Drugs
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—As millions of students begin summer break, Attorney General Ashley Moody is launching a new series aimed at helping parents safeguard children against threats that could arise this season. As summer approaches and children have more free time, it is important that parents are equipped with information needed to keep their kids safe. To kick off the new initiative, called Idle Time: A Summer Safety Series, Attorney General Moody is issuing a warning about dangerous illicit drugs like rainbow fentanyl, nitazenes and xylazine.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “With millions of Florida students on summer break, how they spend their free time will be extremely important when it comes to their safety. From digital drug dealers to online predators, danger is only a few clicks or direct messages away. That is why I created Idle Time: A Summer Safety Series. This new series is designed to teach parents about threats to our children’s safety as well as how to talk to their kids about saying no to drugs and staying safe online.”
The first installment of Idle Time: A Summer Safety Series warns about dangerous illicit drugs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 110,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2022. Most of these deaths are driven by illicit fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid. It is the number one killer of adults aged 18-45. A recent study conducted by Families Against Fentanyl found that children under the age of 14 are dying of fentanyl poisoning at a faster rate than any other age group.
Illicit fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs like cocaine and marijuana, often unbeknownst to the individuals consuming them. The drug may even appear in illicit vape pods. This significantly increases the risk of accidental overdoses and poses a severe danger to unsuspecting individuals, including children.
Rainbow fentanyl may pose a unique threat to children. Drug dealers will place fentanyl in brightly colored pills that look like candy to children and young people and have even been found shipping the drug in candy boxes.
Attorney General Moody is also warning about Frankenstein opioids, or nitazenes. Nitazenes are synthetic opioids that can be significantly more potent than fentanyl. Last April, Attorney General Moody issued an emergency rule outlawing eight deadly nitazenes. During the past legislative session, Attorney General Moody worked with lawmakers to permanently add these Frankenstein opioids to the list of Schedule I substances in Florida. These drugs are incredibly potent, often requiring multiple doses of naloxone to reverse the effects.
Another emerging threat that is showing up in fentanyl seizures is xylazine. Attorney General Moody first warned about xylazine heading into the spring break season. Following the warning, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public safety alert highlighting the increasing amount of xylazine mixed with fentanyl. According to the alert, authorities seized xylazine-fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 states. The DEA Laboratory System is reporting that 23% of fentanyl powder seized by the DEA in 2022 contained xylazine. Xylazine users are known to develop wounds at the point of injection, including necrosis—the rotting of human tissue may require a limb to be amputated.
Attorney General Moody offers the following tips for parents:
• Make clear rules and consequences for children;
• Keep it age-appropriate—a drug talk with a child in middle school will be quite different from one with a high schooler or college student;
• Talk about how dangerous addiction is and how just one pill can kill;
• Reassure children that they are free to talk about the subject at home because keeping an open conversation is a healthy way to build trust;
• Learn to recognize the potential signs of drug impairment and know the proper steps to take if you suspect your child is using drugs; and
• Lock up medications, including cough syrups, at all times keeping it out of reach and out of sight of children, young adults and visitors and safely dispose of unused/unwanted prescriptions.
More resources for parents can be found at Dose of Reality Florida, a one-stop resource for Floridians to learn about the dangers of opioid misuse, how to receive support for addiction and where to drop off unused prescription drugs. To learn more about Dose of Reality Florida, click here.
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