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Teen Opioid Addiction Requires Different Tactics

Teen Opioid Addiction - The Bergand Group

Middle-aged Americans aren’t the only ones suffering from an addiction to prescription drugs.  Though this is the demographic that is most heavily focused on when professionals set their sights on cutting back on this issue, many are now saying that a better strategy would be to curb the habit before the individual even gets to that age.  This would mean going directly after teen opioid addiction and finding ways to better treat substance abuse at a younger and more volatile age.

The Rising Numbers of Teen Opioid Addiction

Despite a lot of recent attention that has fallen on to generalized teen drug use, not much time has been devoted to teen opioid addiction in particular.  This is likely because most efforts are put toward the other, larger group of people who are suffering from painkillers abuse: middle-aged/adult men and women.  Even though this is absolutely a group that is in danger and which needs to be aided and addressed, it isn’t the only one on which opioids have wreaked havoc.

Part of the disturbing opinions surrounding this problem is that teen opioid use is viewed by many “as developmentally appropriate experimentation” and is dismissed.  Professionals who recognize this issue for the massive danger that it is warn that these young people are at high risk to grow up to be part of the more scrutinized group, the older users, if their habits are left unchanged.  There is always time to help one of these teenagers into recovery and treatment, but the more mired in addiction he or she is, the more difficult the process will be.

Many experts state firmly that the way to begin addressing this issue is to work “early intervention” into the lives of these teenagers.  Since these are the years that many people engage in some level of “experimentation” when it comes to drugs and alcohol, this is when it’s most likely that they will begin to develop an addiction.  Considering that teen opioid addiction isn’t nearly as popular a subject these days as similar issues among adults, they are far less likely to have their struggles acknowledged, let alone treated.  “Most addiction professionals have been trained in the adult model of care, but they don’t really have training on how to work with teens and the systems that surround them.”  More of the difficulty comes in how adults think of teenagers, often holding them to high standards of maturity while also not truly considering them to be “grown-up.”  As a result, those in the teens and early-20s fall in an awkward gray space where many people, often including doctors and other medical professionals, aren’t sure how to categorize them.

Part of the identified problem with applying adult models of care to young peoples’ recovery programs is that the former is, in many cases, undertaken on an individual-minded basis.  The adult is seen as a single unit and is treated as such.  Teenagers, though, are heavily impacted by surrounding social circles such as family, friends, and classmates, and to address him or her alone without regard for those highly-influential groups can block progress.  The way to at least begin to approach treating this demographic is “to find a way for young people to engage in pro-social activities to replace their drug use.”

If your child is suffering from teen opioid addiction and hasn’t yet gotten the care that he or she needs,  get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center, and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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