FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Families of Fentanyl poisoning victims and prosecutors met Wednesday to discuss having harsher punishments for dealers who sell counterfeit pills as well as the impact the drug has had on our region.

In August, Fresno County launched a Fentanyl awareness campaign that included billboards, posters and targeted social media ads aimed at reaching young people who are on their phones a lot.

Flindt Andersen, founder and president of Parents & Addicts In Need (P.A.I.N), says that parents really need to understand just how deadly the drug can be.

“The first thing they need to know is that it’s deadly, I believe that there are too many parents out there that seem to think that this is just another drug that’s out there that their kids are experimenting with it. But today, when a kid experiments and especially with Fentanyl or not knowing that Fentanyl is in that pill, that can actually cause them to die,” said Andersen.

Andersen says when it comes to parents talking to their children, a direct approach is the best way to break the ice.

“One of the things that we have found that parents need to do now is actually have a very serious heart to heart with their kids and not be afraid to get into the reality of that drug use,” he said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction you can call the Drug and Alcohol Hotline at (855) 219-9280.