How to Discuss Opioids with Your Teenager
There is a national opioid crisis. While some opioids such as heroin are illegal, there are many opioids including hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine that are prescribed by health care providers to treat pain. Misuse of prescription drugs is among the fastest growing drug problem among teenagers. Many students in high school are experimenting with opioids, and there is a risk of addiction. Many parents prefer not to think that their teenagers are at risk of drug use, but unfortunately, one out of every eight in high school are using opioids for non-medical reasons.
The best prevention for opioid misuse is by talking to your children from a young age. Below is a guide to help parents to know where to start.
It’s Important for Parents to Educate Themselves on Opioids
Before you can talk to your teenagers about opioid use, you need to have your facts straight. You should start from researching the following:
- What are opioids?
- How do they work in the brain and the body?
- What are the risk factors for using them?
- What are the signs to look out for?
It’s important that parents do not pass inaccurate information to the children. If they learn they have the wrong information, they turn to their peers for information which might also not be accurate. There are plenty of online resources you can use to learn all you can about opioid addiction and the long-term effects of the nonmedical use of opioids by adolescents.
Start the Conversation
Having a conversation about drugs with your kids can be uncomfortable, but according to research, it is the best prevention. With the news covering cases of drug overdose, your child may have heard about it and they might be curious. Thinking that your children do not need to hear it from you can be a mistake. Finding the right time to start a conversation can be tricky, however, look for a time when the conversation can be natural like when a celebrity is caught using drugs. Start by asking them what they have heard. By doing this, you can gauge what information they have. Remember that this is not a one-off conversation but often happen and add some more information with every conversation.
Deal with the Problem Head-On
If your child is caught with drugs in school or they are suspended from school for using, do not be in denial but rather confront the problem before it gets worse. Remember that statistics show that many young users of opioids do not stop after trying opioids, they often become addicts. Let your child know that their first try might be voluntary, but with constant use, it becomes less of a decision but a need when they become addicted. If your child is a constant user, talk to them about going to an outpatient treatment center for opioid addiction in Utah. It helps to know that they can get help when they need it.
Do not automatically assume that your child is using opioids. A large number of teenagers are not using and have never tried using any drug. Rather than set dire warnings, focus on the positive. Being a parent in this time and age can be tricky, but it’s important to be open with your children. We are in the middle of an opioid epidemic, therefore, prevention should start at a young age.
Receive Outpatient Opioid Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Ranch in Ogden
If you notice your teen is misusing prescription drugs, contact Renaissance Ranch in Ogden, Utah today. We are passionate about helping those struggling with addiction to turn their life around and live a long life of sobriety. Our team of professionals use faith-based practices in our drug and alcohol outpatient treatment programs and work to get to the source of the addiction, including family members in the process, for long-lasting success. Give us a call at 385-222-3737 today to schedule an assessment.