Parents have heard of the so-called Opioid Crisis, but often think it doesn't concern them until it strikes their family. A new effort may help
educate parents and dissuade teens from trying highly dangerous drugs. The Murrysville Lions Club, most notably known for sight-related projects,
is sponsoring the distribution of home drug testing kits for parents of teens at risk. The kits are available anonymously and without cost at the
Murrysville Police Headquarters. Each test kit covers a range of substances, providing parents a means of early detection and deterrence, including
giving teens an effective excuse to resist peer pressure to experiment with drugs, "No thanks, my folks randomly check me with a drug kit."
Overdose deaths in Westmoreland County have increased each of the last nine years, with Opioids now involved in about 85% of the drug-related deaths
in Pennsylvania. Fentanyl, a dangerous and powerful synthetic opiod, is a primary ingredient in a wide range of illicit drugs that are most responsible
for overdoses. Murrysville and the surrounding area are not immune to this problem, perhaps even more at risk due to increased mobility and disposable
income of teens. Sources of drugs can be illegal dealers, theft from family members or over-prescription from legitimate medical sources.
This initiative is publicized with posters placed in the Murrysville Library, area churches and other public venues, along with a brochure to help
parents identify teen drug slang and early signs of abuse. The posters illustrate teens asking for parental assistance, "Mom and Dad. show you care
about me.." The brochure encourages parents to be alert and instructs on how to start a conversation with teens on avoiding drug abuse.