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Opioid Epidemic in America – Teenage Opioid Abuse on the Rise

Drug abuse happens to people of all ages, races, and genders. Teens can be especially prone to addiction as peer pressure and experimentation often lead to using opioids. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that opioids such as heroin and prescription drugs took as many as 33,000 lives. Half of these deaths involved prescription pain relievers. Teenage opioid abuse is on the rise as reports showed that in 2008, 32,235 young adults had an opioid dependency. By 2013, the number of teenagers addicted to opioids had increased to 49,626. This is among the first information showing the dangers that the opioid epidemic is having on the youth of the country.

3 Minute Read | Published Sep 28 2023 | Updated Mar 06 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Amber Asher
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Amber Asher
Reviewed by

Teenage Opioid Abuse on the Rise

In this article, we will look at the signs that someone may be addicted to opioids and what to do if you or a loved one is addicted to opioids.

Signs of an Opioid Addiction

In the case of teenage drug addiction, the signs and symptoms of abuse are much the same as in adults. The signs of a possible teenage opioid abuse can be separated into three different categories: the physical, psychological and behavioral symptoms of addiction to opioids.

  • Physical signs – Physically, teenage prescription drug abuse may show signs in several ways. Bloodshot eyes with large or small pupils are common as well as a runny nose. Appetite fluctuations can be another sign of abuse. Slurred speech and impaired coordination much like a person who has consumed alcohol is another sign. Sleep disturbances and unusual body odors may also be common.
  • Psychological signs – Among the mental signs that there may be a teenage drug addiction to opioids includes mood swings, nervousness, euphoria, anxiety and increased energy. Other signs include outbursts of anger, paranoia, attitude changes and irritability.
  • Behavioral signs – The behavioral signs that may indicate teenage prescription drug abuse include unexplained spending of money, fighting, stopping previously enjoyed hobbies, neglecting school work and assignments, secretive behavior and a sudden change in the teenager’s friends.

If you notice these signs in your friend or child, do not hesitate to call the Better Addiction Care today on (800) 429-7690 for more information on what you can do. Stopping an addiction early can not only save a great a deal of pain to all involved, but it can also save the addict’s life.

Opioid Addiction Treatment for Teenage Opioid Abuse

Due to the addictive properties that are found in opioids, there is often a withdrawal phase that each addict must go through. Since it ‘s hard to deal with alone, a rehab center should be used so that the patient can avoid relapse by being monitored, and for the patient to receive medications that can help them through the withdrawal phase. Some medications counteract the symptoms felt while others help to lessen the symptoms.

Once the majority of symptoms have passed, the addict can then start with their behavioral therapy. This can be done in an inpatient, residential or outpatient setting. In residential and inpatient programs, the person will stay at the facility while they undergo their therapy to uncover the root of their abuse and to teach the patient to cope with their triggers through healthy ways. Outpatient programs allow for the person to carry on with their schooling while receiving the professional help they require. Each treatment program is tailor-made to fit the needs of each individual.

Through relapse prevention strategies and post-treatment care such as support groups, teenagers can be taught to avoid relapse in the long term.

The rise of teenage opioid abuse in recent years has led to laws being passed in some states to make opioid education mandatory in schools. Through this education and the help of rehab centers, the disease of addiction can be beaten.

Find help for yourself or a loved one through the rehab centers at Better Addiction Care. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.


bullet Today
"More teens show up in ERs addicted to opioids"
Retrieved on September 22, 2017
bullet CDC
"Drug Overdose"
Retrieved on September 22, 2017

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