While the opioid crisis has gained a great deal of attention in recent years, it is important for parents, educators and other adults to recognize and realize the threat that opioid abuse presents to teenagers. The unfortunate reality is that children and adolescents are at a greater risk than adults at becoming addicted when they are exposed to these drugs. In addition, while opioid misuse in teens has decreased in recent years, the rate of opioid misuse increases significantly after the age of 18. Therefore, it is important to talk to teens to help prevent this spike in use from occurring.
Treating Pain in Children and Adolescents
Just as with adults, prescription opioids may be used to treat pain in children and adolescents. This pain may be associated with a variety of things, such as a sports injury, dental work or surgery. To help prevent addiction and abuse from occurring, these pain medicines should be used for the shortest amount of time possible while also keeping careful watch over the child or adolescent who is using the drugs.
Prescription Opioid Misuse
Sadly, research has shown that around 57 percent of 12 to 17-year-olds who misuse prescription opioids actually obtained them from a friend or relative. Examples of prescription opioid misuse include:
- Taking the drugs in a way other than instructed
- Using prescription pills that were prescribed to someone other than yourself
- Taking prescription pills with the intention of getting high
- Mixing prescription opioids with other drugs or with alcohol
If you or someone you love is misusing opioids, contact Advanced Spine & Rehab to learn more about suboxone and our opioid treatment program.