Substance Abuse in Adolescence: Opioid Addiction and Treatment

In America, around 20% of youths and young adults say that misused opioids at some point in their lives. Considering that our nation is in the middle of an opioid epidemic, this is a huge cause for concern. Substance abuse in adolescence can lead to further abuse in adulthood, which can have a devastating effect.

Maybe you have a teen in your household, and you’re worried that they might either get into opioids or are already abusing them. In that case, read on to find out about opioid addiction and treatment in youths.

Why Does Substance Abuse in Adolescence Happen?

There are several reasons why substance abuse happens in adolescence. For one, they might have a family history of substance abuse, which can cause them to go in that direction.

In addition, many teenagers are bored and curious about abusing drugs. This is especially true when there’s lots of peer pressure.

Lastly, they might be struggling with mental health issues. The teenage years can be very tough to navigate, which causes these youths to turn to self-medication.

Signs of Opioid Addiction in Teens

The key to helping your child stay safe is knowing the warning signs. Here are some signs of opioid addiction in teens:

  • Isolation from family
  • New/different friend groups
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lower energy levels
  • Lack of attention for self-care and hygiene

Also, one of the biggest signs of opioid abuse is drug paraphernalia. If you find lighters, pipes, and/or needles in your teenager’s possession or in their rooms, then this is a huge red flag.

Opioid Addiction Treatment for Youths

If you suspect that your teen is abusing opioids, don’t get angry at them. This can cause them to pull away and isolate themselves even further.

The best thing to do is to be kind and compassionate, and not to mention, you should offer an open ear. That way, they’ll be more likely to open up to you about what they’re going through.

It’s a good idea to make an appointment for them with a psychiatrist, as a professional can help them navigate these tough times. They can also help your child develop healthier coping skills.

You should also book them an appointment with their pediatrician, as they’ll have the proper knowledge on how to treat youths with opioid use disorder (OUD). This includes safe detox and prescriptions of necessary medications to help them stay off opioids.

Help Your Child Today

Now that you know more about substance abuse in adolescence, you can be on the lookout for any troubling signs. If you do notice any, remember to be compassionate.

Your support means everything to your child, so remember to be supportive to increase the chances of them seeking help. With their parent by their side, your teen will be more will motivated to address their opioid problem and find the path to sobriety.

For more informative articles like this one on opioid addiction help, please take a look at the rest of our blog posts.