Teenagers and Opiate Abuse
Teens are more likely to use prescription drugs rather than illicit and illegal drugs, simply because these prescription drugs are more available. A shared medicine cabinet, a family member recovering from a surgery, or a new prescription sitting on the counter is readily available for teens looking to fit in, feel more self-confident, and assert their independence. Read on to find out more statistics about teens and opiate abuse, and how you can help your child prevent and overcome a dependency.
Overdose is a very real possibility with prescription painkillers, because teens may deem them “safer” than drugs like heroin or cocaine, simply because they were prescribed by a doctor, and therefore must be safe. Because of this, they may end up taking a higher dosage, which can easily result in an overdose. Just because a prescription isn’t a street drug doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous, and it’s important to talk to your teen about the risks and dangers of overdosing on any drug, be it a prescription or street drug.
Many teens may develop a prescription painkiller habit, and then realize it’s become an issue, and try and quit cold turkey. Their withdrawal symptoms can be much worse because they don’t have the medical supervision or parental guidance to help them through the process, and they’re much more likely to relapse in order to stop the withdrawal symptoms of nausea, hallucinations, and insomnia.
Reasons for Opiate Abuse
There are many reasons that a teenager may take prescription drugs: to fit in, to escape, to rebel, to seem grown up, and to relieve boredom, but this experimenting can quickly spiral into a full-blown dependency. Talk to your teen about the issues they may be facing at school or at home, and understand that if they’re feeling left out, pressured by friends, or stressed out, they may be searching for ways to feel better about themselves. Give them constructive outlets like music, sports, or time with friends who are a good influence.
Teenagers don’t take drugs because they want to become addicted to them. They take them for a variety of reasons. They want to seem grown up, they want to fit in, and they want to feel better. But they’re at just as much risk, if not more, than adults when it comes to painkiller abuse.
Talk to your teen today to prevent any risky behavior and give them the tools they need to succeed.