- Posted by Austin Swim
- On March 15, 2016
- 0 Comments
Recently, a study on high school seniors showed that 1 in 8 of them had reported using prescription opioids recreationally. However, these numbers have only been climbing. The young people of our country now face a more prevalent culture of drug abuse that surrounds them than they ever have, before. This reflects a wider growth of opiate abuse around the country, which has nearly tripled in the past 15 years. Not only are these drugs dangerous on their own, but they often serve as a gateway to even more nefarious substances. On top of that, students are very likely to use prescription opioids alongside other substances, like alcohol and marijuana. To better understand this trend, here is some information about teenagers and prescription opioid addiction…
Easier access to these drugs
The reason that teenagers have continued to abuse opiates is quite simple: the access to these drugs is far more readily available to them. Many opiate addicts are originally prescribed these medications, such as morphine, methadone, buprenorphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, after an intensive procedure. This puts an ample supply of a rather dangerous substance into the hands of a teenager, who are often more prone to self-medicate than adults. However, a teenager doesn’t even need to be prescribed these opiate pain relievers to have access to them. Due to the amount of opioids in circulation in the United States, there is a robust black market that is able to funnel these substances into the hands of curious, susceptible teenagers.
Can lead to heroin addiction
Aside from the fact that these opioids are already dangerous, another reason that this is such a problem is that it can eventually lead to these young addicts turning to street drugs for a variety of reasons. First of all, heroin, the most popular street opiate, is a lot cheaper than many of these medical opiates. On top of that, it is able to produce a much stronger high, for a much longer period of time. The momentous problem is that heroin is also the most dangerous and addictive street drug, one that is able to have a major negative impact on nearly every major organ in your body.
Importance of communication
While the numbers look frightening, the crucial factor to remember is that this all starts in our homes. The most important thing that we can do, as adults, is talk to these young people and educate them about this problem. Keeping an open line of communication keeps us closer to teenagers, and allows them to come to us for anything, no matter how serious.