It used to be that opioid use was to be for serious cases like if you are a cancer patient or just went through an important surgery. Now, opioids are used for everything and are given to teenagers that are innocently taking these pills without realizing they can be at risk for life-long addiction. HealthDay News says that more than a quarter of opioid overdoses are involving teens with one fifth being suicide attempts, showing that kids and teens need a lot of protection.

What Were the Results of the Study?

From 2005-2018, 754,000 American opioid poisoning cases were presented by the U.S. National Poison Data system. Almost 208,000 cases involved children 18 years or younger. By 2018, suicide attempts rose to more than 21%. The percentage of young patients admitted to a critical care unit following an opioid overdose went from 6.6% to 9.6%. The risk that a young overdose patient would be in a life-threatening situation and/or end up with a major disability went from .10% to .13%. The risk that a young person would die of an opioid overdose was .18% in 2005 and rose to .28% in 2018. 

What is Causing These Opioid Overdoses?

Opioids are becoming more potent over time. This means that even a smaller dosage has the potential to cause an overdose. Suicide attempts are part of the reason for the increase in overdoses in that if you are prescribed a lot of pills, you have the access to use them as a weapon against yourself. Not all of these overdoses are on purpose in that more than 51% of cases involved preschoolers who accidentally ingested an opioid prescription that was lying around.

What Can Be Done to Prevent These Overdoses?

It is important that kids are educated about the dangers of opioids and that even experimenting with them can still lead to addiction. There should be open communication in schools where students can speak about the opioids they are taking and their reactions. Guidance counselors need to monitor students for any odd behaviors, failing grades, and oppositional attitudes. It is also important to make sure prescription medications are out of children’s reach and ban any illegal drugs from the household. Parents need to be aware of any mental illnesses their child has and not see their behavior as a passing phase. It is never too early to protect your child from addiction.

At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.