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Opioid Epidemic Affects Teenagers, Too

Opioid Epidemic - The Bergand Group

It’s no mystery that parents can have a huge influence over the development of addiction in their children. Many are unwilling to get involved in their kids’ lives in a way that they feel will ruin their relationship with their friends, or with each other. However, the opioid epidemic touches the lives of teenagers as well as adults and can have the same deadly effects if ignored.

The Reasons Behind the Teen Opioid Epidemic

Those who have studied this epidemic in depth say that there are two factors which are putting “kids” more at risk than ever for developing addictions to drugs or alcohol. “The first is stress. Good data paint a bad picture of today’s teens as being the most stressed, depressed and anxious generation we’ve seen in five decades of measurement.” This can be attributed to a variety of things, including the pressure put on them from high school onward, and even earlier, to succeed academically while getting involved in as many extracurriculars as possible. They have to get into the best college so that they can get the best job.  On top of that, teens have pressure from themselves and from their peers to succeed socially, which only adds to the weight of stress.

“That’s how weed, booze and even death can begin to look good to a 14-year-old.” Unfortunately, the other factor that leads many teens into the arms of the opioid epidemic is their parents. Many do not get as involved as they should in their teen’s life because they don’t think that their child is listening, and so what they say or do won’t make a difference. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The research shows that those children do hear what their parents have to say, and that the best defense against some of the above bad habits is for the parent to “lovingly and firmly” tell their child that they know best. Put simply, they should give advice, and the kids will listen.

“Parents who place few zero-tolerance demands upon their teens have kids who are shocked to see their laid-back parents suddenly get deadly serious. They listen.” This may come as a surprise to many, but when an action as ‘small’ as this can make all the difference, it’s more than worth doing. The more that you are there for your child and provide a firm example of the behavior that you expect while explaining the consequences of drugs and alcohol, the better. Communicating in a clear way, encouraging an open dialogue that offers love and support, is the best way to help your child avoid the fate of too many teens in this day and age.

It’s difficult to say what the ‘best’ course of action in this situation is when it’s so fraught with complications, but the research supports open communication and support between parents and children. This may be one of the best (if not the best) ways to help teenagers avoid suffering from the opioid epidemic and the substance use that leads to it.

If you or someone you care about needs help recovering from drug use or abuse, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  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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