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Most Colorado teens aren't using pills.1 And 87% say they'd act to stop a friend from using pills.2

But they might hear things at school or on social media that suggest "everyone" is doing it.

That's why we need to keep talking to teens about the importance of NOT using prescription meds NOT prescribed to them.

It turns out they're listening. Most Colorado teens say they trust parents and guardians to protect their health.3

How to Talk ABout the Risks

Conversations with teens about the risks of taking pills without a prescription can be a powerful tool to protect them. Simply talking openly and often about unhealthy behaviors is an effective way to prevent youth from making unhealthy choices like using substances. 

Unsure how to start the conversation? Here are some tips to get started:

Save These Digital Cards To Your Phone

Keep information handy – right on your phone – by downloading and saving these graphics to your photo library: 

Find the Care You Need

See What Colorado Teens Are Saying ABout the Risks of Misusing Pills

What Is Fentanyl?

  • Fentanyl is a powerful opioid — up to 100 times stronger than morphine.
  • Just 2 mg — about the size of a few grains of salt -- could cause a fatal overdose.
  • While fentanyl has legitimate uses in medicine, it's also commonly mixed into counterfeit prescription pills and powdered drugs like cocaine and MDMA, also known as "molly".
  • It's almost impossible to tell the difference between a pill from a pharmacy and a counterfeit pill. If you didn't get medication directly from a pharmacist or doctor, it might be fake and contain a deadly amount of fentanyl.

What You Need to Know about Naloxone

Most Colorado teens aren't experimenting with pills. But if someone takes a counterfeit pill laced with fentanyl even once, the outcome could be deadly. 

Learning how to reverse an opioid overdose with naloxone, often known by the brand name Narcan, helps us all keep the people around us safe. 

What Is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a life-saving medicine that can reverse an overdose from opioids.

Naloxone comes in a nasal spray that anyone can buy, so you can keep it on hand, just like you'd keep a first aid kit ready for an emergency. Soon naloxone will be available for purchase over the counter.

Talking to Teens About Naloxone

Talk to teens about naloxone just like any other family emergency plan. Make sure they know where to find it and when and how to use it.

How to Use Naloxone in Case of an opioid Overdose

More resources to help

You're there for the teens in your life. These resources are here for you. 

For Community Partners

Looking for Connect Effect campaign resources to share with your community? Find free customizable tools here - social media content, posters, informational materials, and more. 

Download, print and share these fact sheets to support your community.  Links to come.
  1. Talking to Youth about Pills and Fentanyl 
  2. What's Naloxone?
  3. Opioids: What Parents Need to Know
  4. The Truth about Youth Pill Misuse
  5. Signs of Opioid Overdose


Do you have questions or want to see other tools? Let us know. If your question might be useful for others, we will update this page with more information.

Note: If this is an emergency, please call 911. If you have family-related requests, questions about a specific individual, or need crisis services, please see the resources listed above.

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1 | 2021 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey
2 | 2023 survey of 266 Colorado youth
3 | 2023 survey of 266 Colorado youth
4 | Preventing, Recognizing, and Treating Opioid Overdose | SAMHSA