Addiction to Opioids

P A R E N T S ….

Here’s a story that should be shared with your teen even if they are not one of those 1.1 million between the ages of 12 and 25 who are misusing prescription drugs or among the 238,000 teens who used heroin this past year.

It’s hard to fathom that physicians write many millions of painkiller prescriptions in a year.  An article in TEENVOGUE reports that 80 percent of opioid users get their start by taking “prescription opioids” which are, in many ways, similar to heroin and affect the brain in the same manner.

Fatal drug overdoses have tripled to over 50,000 in the last 15 years and all to many among our teens.  There is not a teen that we know that thinks, at least initially, that they can’t manage experimenting with drugs and it’s allure. Teens more easily become dependent.  The article reports that an adolescent’s early exposure to drug misuse increases their risk of addiction from 5 to 10 times.

Drugs are available and prevalent in our community and yes, in our high schools.  Parents, please take the time to read this article with your child and then discuss it with them. The CEO of Newport Academy, a teen rehab mental health center, stresses the “number one drug prevention tool is spending time as a family talking about emotions.”  While most adults know that taking pills to sooth one’s emotions is not the answer.  Our teens, however need our support and guidance as they learn how to overcome negative feelings and manage their emotions.