Signs of Teen Opioid Use
Teens are notoriously flighty and temperamental while fighting through puberty hormones, school, and the challenges of becoming a young adult. Parents must become aware of behaviors that aren’t necessarily normal teen behavior and could be influenced by drugs. While almost every American teenager will be offered drugs between the ages of twelve to eighteen, kids who have a family history of addiction, come from troubled homes, or have family members in the house with an active substance use disorder are particularly at risk.
With opioids still as prevalent as ever, attracting users of all ages, spotting the signs of opioid misuse among teens and young adults can prevent them from serious trouble in the future.
Drugs and the Teenage Brain
Although many teens may be convinced that they’re grown up, many areas of the brain required for decision-making, impulse control, judgment, and other vital functions aren’t finished developing until they reach their mid-20s.
This makes young adults particularly susceptible to drug experimentation and falling under peer pressure to misuse substances in social situations. Kids who are heavily involved in drugs during this process of brain development as teens can become addicted to substances faster and more intensely than adults.
The way opioids and other substances affect the reward pathway in the brain can also impact the organ’s ability to mature fully, leaving lasting consequences for those who are not helped before addiction occurs.
Familiar opioid misuse is likely to affect a teen’s chances of experimenting with the drugs as well. Similarly, opioid use among their friend circle will also increase the risk of peer pressure to try the drugs while normalizing their use in social settings. Accessibility of the drugs will also play a significant role in a teen’s chances of becoming addicted to opioids, with many substances being easily purchased online and shipped to the family’s front door.
Treatment for Teens
In cases where teens begin experimenting more heavily with opioid drugs, parents often don’t know how to stop enabling bad behavior in their desperation to help their child. Wrangling a teen under the influence of drugs and a social circle that encourages their use cn be difficult. Still, treatment options are available even for those under eighteen who need help.
Young people who are enrolled in medication-assisted treatment programs like the ones offered at Recovery Services of New Mexico have the best chance at overcoming opioid use disorder and continuing into a bright future. Our substance use counselors can help address the mental and emotional aspects of their substance misuse. Our medical providers prescribe FDA-approved medications that can help ease them through the treatment process free from the discomfort of withdrawal. If your child needs help, contact us today to learn more about our recovery services.