Teen opioid addiction is still as much a problem now as ever, and certainly as much of a problem as adult opioid addiction. Where there is currently some focus on this demographic, there isn’t enough to have stopped the rise of this enormous, deadly issue.
Identifying Signs of Teen Opioid Addiction
“According to The Foundation for a Drug-free World, 90% of prescription drug addicts reported that they started using prescription drugs in middle school or high school.” A lot of those middle and high schoolers now are getting their hands on prescription medications, or opioids, and many of those teen users don’t realize the dangers of the combinations that they ingest. Though prescription pills can be dangerous enough on their own, the risk only increases when these kids go to parties and events and mix that usage with alcohol consumption.
What makes this even more confusing for parents is that teen opioid addiction may seem to have energy-boosting effects, at least at first. Even if their children seem to be more moody than usual, “it’s common for parents to chalk up their unpredictable behaviors to symptoms of adolescence.” It can be attributed to normal, teen behavior, and thought no more of. More than that, their parents have a hard time curtailing or even noticing these behaviors because abusing prescription pills is more difficult to detect than, say, smoking weed.
Parents may be unintentionally tempting children by keeping their own medications available around the house. If you safely take medication for chronic pain, then it’s possible your son or daughter may be sneaking away some of the pills for their own use, particularly if it’s an older bottle that you don’t take anymore. Always (safely) dispose of pills that are no longer in use around the house to avoid this.
Part of the incredible danger with teen opioid addiction is the lack of information, the misunderstanding that these pills are less dangerous to them than “street drugs.” However, “medical emergencies resulting from prescription drug abuse have increased over 132% and overdoses from prescription meds have now surpassed meth, cocaine, and heroin — combined.” That is a serious statistic, one that must be impressed upon young people in order to keep them from acting out of false beliefs.
If you’re a parent and have concerned about your child possibly getting involved with opioid abuse, then know the signs to look out for. As an example, “severe mood swings” which involve violence, aggression, and/or destruction can be a warning symbol. Another is if your family has some level of history of substance abuse. If your child loses weight, changes friend groups, or seems to have lost interested in hobbies that they once enjoyed, then it’s possible that he or she has become snared by a teen opioid addiction.
Don’t make assumptions, though. Know the signs, keep a careful watch, and speak with a doctor or addiction professional if you are really concerned. The most important thing is to keep an open line of conversation and communication so that your child feels as if they can talk to you about anything. If you put forth a judgmental air, then they will likely hide their behaviors from you, which will undoubtedly be worse.
If you or someone you care about is suffering from a teen opioid addiction and needs help, 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 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]