The number of people using drugs and getting addicted to them is steadily increasing despite the government and community efforts to solve the problem. Some have already started non-criminalizing certain drug use in the hope of curbing drug overdose death incidents. What is more alarming, though, is that more children are getting into drugs.
Children and Drug Abuse
In 2013, approximately 23 out of 100 American senior high school students smoke pot compared to just 16 per 100 who smoke cigarettes. Six out of 10 young high school students also do not consider smoking marijuana as inherently dangerous. More than a third of all adolescents in U.S. jurisdictions that have legalized both commercial and medical marijuana get pot from people who are legally allowed to purchase marijuana.
In terms of prescription opioid analgesic misuse, six out of 10 adolescents get access to highly controlled prescription narcotic painkillers from relatives and friends who may have a medical need for these painkillers. Among 8th graders, they misuse mostly cough medicines, tranquilizers, sedative-hypnotics, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. Among the 12th graders, however, Adderall, oxycodone, tranquilizers, and cough medicines are leading.
Helping an Addicted Minor
Parents play the biggest part when it comes to helping an addicted minor. Their help alone would not be enough, however. Seeking help from professionals must be the primary approach. Drug abuse specialists can then diagnose the child’s condition and they can recommend a trustworthy substance abuse treatment facility in Utah, says renaissanceoutpatient.com.
Dangers of Prescription Opioid Misuse
One of the inherent dangers of adolescents starting with prescription opioid analgesics is that these drugs are chemically similar to heroin, another opioid. In fact, studies now show that majority of heroin addicts have started with prescription opioid painkillers while they were still in their teens.
What makes it particularly dangerous in the mixing of prescription opioids with heroin is that it could trigger the deadly effects of heroin. Opioids are central nervous system depressants and it can literally shut down the entire body if overdose takes place.
Unfortunately, teenagers do not recognize these dangers because they think that painkillers are medicines and they do not pose a threat to their safety. The problem lies more in the tampering of narcotic painkillers, however. Instead of slow cumulative effects, there is a sudden rush of the substance to the brain. The effects are almost instantaneous, so as the side effects.
More people are abusing illicit drugs, particularly prescription narcotics painkillers. Proper awareness and education is advisable to correct the misconceptions adolescents have about illicit drugs. If you notice your loved one is going through the same thing, do something. Act now.