Teenage Opioid Abuse: Risks, Prevention, And Treatments
Because it is a new and, regrettably, developing problem, opioid use disorder (OUD) in teenagers is poorly understood, under-recognized, and under-treated. In this age group, the risks of opioid addiction and usage have been rising.
Because it is a new and, regrettably, developing problem, opioid use disorder (OUD) in teenagers is poorly understood, under-recognized, and under-treated. In this age group, the risks of opioid addiction and usage have been rising. Teens with OUD can often be treated with the same pharmaceutical choices as adults in many cases.
How Are Opioids Introduced To Teenagers?
Opioids are introduced to teenagers in the same way that they are introduced to adults, whether legally or illegally. Opioid prescriptions from friends or family members are frequently obtained and abused by adolescents. This is a common approach for teenagers to report their first opioid encounter.
Patients with OUD say they first came into contact with opioids through a legitimate prescription. Opioids can also be legitimately prescribed to teenagers after dental operations, for example. Others may be prescribed opioids before leaving the hospital after undergoing surgery or a treatment.
More than a third of individuals with self-described OUD said their first exposure to opioids came from a lawfully authorized prescription, according to one study. Another cohort study of approximately 189,000 children who received a first opioid prescription discovered that 10 to 30 percent developed an OUD.
Are Opioids Harmful to Adolescents?
Opioids are risky medications for people of all ages, but they are especially dangerous for teenagers and young adults. Teenagers are particularly exposed to the impacts of addictive substances because their brain chemistry is continually evolving. As a result, children who require opioid treatment in specific circumstances should be closely watched while using these prescriptions.
Opioids should always be administered under the supervision of an adult and in small doses for as little time as possible. Before giving opioids to minors, health care providers and parents should have an open conversation with them. If this is their first time using an opioid, they should emphasize the risks and the significance of safe use. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about delivering an opioid to your kid or dependent.
Preventing Opioid Addiction in Adolescents
It is illegal to share prescription painkillers with others. Adults should never give opioid drugs to their loved ones, even if they are suffering from an acute pain episode or are only trying to help. Opioid drugs should be stored in a locked or secure area of the home. You can flush an opioid down the toilet if you have an excess of medication from a previous prescription. You might alternatively take it to a hospital or a doctor's office, where it can be safely disposed of.
How to Deal with Opioid Addiction in Teenagers
Suboxone has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for OUD in patients aged sixteen and up. In cases of serious addiction, some doctors may utilize Suboxone in children as young as six years old. So far, the success rates of Suboxone treatment for OUD in teenagers appear to be comparable to those in adults. Suboxone is a safe and effective treatment for young adults and teenagers with OUD. Families with a teenager or young person living with OUD should explore quick, multi-faceted interventions to prevent the development of addiction, and Suboxone can and should be a part of such intervention.