Teen Opioid Abuse – How Your Kids are Getting a Hold of Opioids
Teen Opioid Abuse is On the Rise. Be Prepared and Know What to Look For at Home and School
The National Safety Council reported that more than 100 people die every day in the U.S. from opioid drugs. This year was the first time opioids surpassed vehicle crashes as a leading cause of death. With the number of people addicted to opioids reaching an all-time high, it is important to stay vigilant and monitor what your children are doing. Here at Primo Prevention, we are dedicated to helping you prevent opioid abuse in teenagers.
What Are Opioids
The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines opioids as “a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription…” In other words, the term opioid is a general term for a large variety of drugs which have a main function of acting on the nervous system to relieve pain. While some opioids are legal and safe to use in small doses when prescribed by a doctor, many people, and in particular teens, are abusing opioids by taking them in large doses to experience a feeling of euphoria. This abuse often leads to addiction, overdose, and even death.
How Kids are Referring to Opioids
Teens are clever by far in how they go about hiding addictive behaviors from parents, teachers, and even society in general. From using specific devices to mask their behavior to calling drugs by different names, they are skilled in masking substance abuse from those who would prevent it. Opioid abuse is no different. Teens often refer to opioid drugs by different names.
There are many more names for drugs that children use. For more information check out the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) publication of Drug Slang Code Words.
How Teens are Abusing Opioids
More than 42,000 people died from an opioid overdose in the United States alone in 2016. With such a high number, you may be wondering how teens are even getting a hold of the drugs. Many teens actually find opioids right at home in their parent’s medicine cabinet. The drugs may be left over from a serious injury or are needed to manage a recent injury. A new trend in opioid abuse is for teens to take these available drugs to a certain location and host a “pharm party.”
A pharm party consists of a number of teens bringing different types of opiate drugs and pouring them all into a bowl. Teens will then grab a number of different, random pills and take them to experience the high associated with opioids. This is extremely dangerous to teens and can end in overdose or even worse consequences.
How to Prevent Teen Opioid Abuse
Talking to teens and children often and early about opioids is the best way to prevent them from becoming an opioid abuser. Be honest with what can happen when you take opioids and what it can lead to if taken improperly without a physician’s instructions. For more information about opioids, check out this article that explains opioid side effects. For more facts and discussion points, check out our pamphlets specifically about opioid abuse.
Opioid abuse is no laughing matter, especially when children and teens are involved. For help on opening the discussion about opioids, contact Primo Prevention and ask about our opioid brochures and pamphlets.
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