Get to know more about substances so you can talk with your kids about them.
Alcohol is a socially accepted part of our everyday life – the majority of adults drink alcohol. It is important for parents to understand more about alcohol and its effects on physical and mental health, especially because young people who drink are particularly at risk.
After alcohol, cannabis is the second most used substance by youth in Canada, and young people between 15 and 24 make up the largest group of cannabis consumers. There are risks and harms associated with early cannabis use – learn more and talk with your kids.
Fentanyl is much stronger than most opioids – 40 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous if used non-medically and its use is having a tragic impact on people who use substances, their families, and communities across the country.
Heroin is processed from morphine. It is a highly addictive substance and withdrawal symptoms can be extremely painful. Heroin found on the streets can be tainted with illegal fentanyl, a more powerful synthetic opioid, and carries a great risk of overdose.
Meth is a highly addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. It’s closely related chemically to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects of methamphetamine are greater.
Prescription drugs are prescribed by a doctor or health professional to manage a variety of health conditions. Most prescription drugs are safe when used as directed, however the non-medical use of medications can have negative impacts on a person’s mental and physical health. Learn more about which medications are used problematically and get simple tips to ensure their safe use in your home.
Illegal (or street) drugs are not all the same. Different street drugs have different dangers associated with them – they can have negative or unexpected effects on the mind and body, and some of them are the cause of accidental or fatal overdose. Street drugs are particularly hazardous for young people whose brains and bodies are still developing.
There are other substances used to get high that have made their way into our modern culture, with very dangerous health consequences. Some of these substances, like glue and inhalants, are relatively easy to access in the home or hardware store.