Three month old lab puppy, Zoey got more than she bargained for yesterday. She was curious about a discarded cigarette case, but the puppy accidentally found some hazardous drug waste instead. Only minutes after her owner, Peter, took the carton away, little Zoey passed out. When they got home, she got progressively worse. Zoey’s eyes rolled back in her head and her tongue hung out. Peter rushed her to the vet. Fortunately, the vet gave her several doses of Narcan.
Drug Waste In Parks Puts Pets And Kids At Risk
Zoey lives in Andover, Massachusetts, just down the street from Moxie and Kevin, the dynamic duo that forms Tough Love Intervention. Kevin and Moxie know about these hidden dangers all to well. By day, they search area treatment centers and schools for narcotics. On the weekends, they voluntarily search neighborhood parks. Moxie regularly finds buckets of used needles and other drug waste in public parks.
Of all the potential dangers drug waste poses, fentanyl is especially dangerous because it can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. A small dose, about the size of three sugar grains, is lethal to an adult. Zoey’s vet suspects she ingested Fentanyl.
What Parents Need To Know
Parents today need to keep a closer eye on their kids. Be especially watchful of their touching or chewing on foreign objects. While needles are obvious dangers, fentanyl patches can also be cast aside. Finally, remember S-B-S-B-S; these are the five most common signs of opioid poisoning:
S – Severe sleepiness
B – Breathing slowly
S – Small pinpoint pupils
B – Blue fingernails & lips
S – Slow heartbeat
If your child shows any of the above signs without reason, seek help. Most importantly, if you suspect an overdose, do not force the person or pet to vomit. Also, be prepared to do rescue breathing. Opioids slow the respiratory system. You might have to keep it going until the professionals arrive.
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Pam is the author of Co-dependent In The Kitchen, and she's a contributing editor for Recovery Guidance. She's a recovery advocate who likes long walks on the beach and chocolate.