Five Key Steps to Save Your Teen From Teen Opioid Addiction

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Clinically reviewed by Dr. Kim Chronister

Dr. Kim Chronister

Dr. Kim Chronister is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, author, and well-known media commentator having appearances on Access Hollywood, Investigation Discover, NBC News, Women’s Health Magazine, Livestrong, Yahoo! News, and NBC News, among numerous other media outlets. She earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Alliant International University (CSPP). Her current research focuses on family issues, teen behavioral issues, teen substance abuse, mental health, and relationships.

Published By Teen Treatment Program
Published on: Saturday February 25, 2023

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The number of young people addicted to opiates grows every day in the United States. An estimated 1.8 million people aged 12 or older suffer from substance use disorder related to prescription pain relievers. For parents who discover their child has developed an opioid addiction, it can be a devastating experience. But what should they do next? If you find yourself in this situation, here are five tips that might help you out. 

5 Key Steps to Save Your Teen From Teen Opioid Addiction

  • Recognize the warning signs

The first step is being able to identify the signs of adolescent opiate addiction. Most of the time, you’ll see changes in their emotional, physical, and behavioral aspects. Recognizing these signs is vital to get the right treatment — the earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the warning signs of teen opioid addiction may vary from person to person, but they usually manifest as:

  • Extreme fatigue or loss of energy.
  • Injection/needle marks on the arms and legs.
  • Constricted and pinpointed eye pupils.
  • Difficulty staying awake or falling asleep at inconvenient times.
  • Itchy, flushed skin.
  • Excessive junk food cravings.
  • Somatic symptoms of stress.
  • Skin scratching on a regular basis.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Sudden out-of-character mood swings.
  • Behavioral problems.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Visits to physicians to acquire additional prescriptions.
  • Poor school performance.
  • The decline in hygiene.
  • Financial problems.
  • Withdrawal from previously liked social activities.
  • High-risk activities.
  • Increased tolerance to pain relievers.

Recognizing these indications of opioid addiction is a crucial first step toward getting your child the help they require. It’s critical to begin therapy as soon as they develop these symptoms. If you suspect your teen is abusing or addicted to opiates, get help today.

  • Understand the risks and consequences

It is essential to understand the risks and consequences of adolescent opiate addiction. Statistics show that the use of opiate-based painkillers is on the rise among teens. There are different reasons why teens use opiates, such as a lack of information. Several studies revealed that when someone knows the risks of using drugs, they are less likely to get addicted.

  • Enroll your child in a rehabilitation program designed for adolescents

As mentioned previously, if you believe your child has an addiction, you need to get them the proper treatment. Parents must understand the classification of children with substance addiction disorders, which differs by state. Tolerance to some opiates might be affected by specific diseases, making your teen’s situation more critical.
There is a tremendous amount of information to consider. However, the most important aspect is that the rehab facility must offer a treatment specifically designed for teens — one that will meet your child’s needs.

  • Develop a plan to help your child overcome their opioid addiction

It’s critical to work out a strategy with your child to help them recover. Their type of therapy will differ depending on the sort of opioid they are addicted to. In any case, be involved in your teen’s treatment to ensure a positive outcome. With continuous effort and proper medical treatment, they can recover their sober life.

  • Seek professional help

Once your adolescent has been diagnosed with opiate addiction, it’s critical to seek expert assistance. A teen inpatient, outpatient, or residential treatment center can be the solution. A doctor may be able to prescribe medication to help your child cope with their cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Addiction treatment centers like Key Healthcare are dedicated to assisting struggling teenagers which can provide your child with the best teen mental health treatment or any drug addiction treatment which will be best for your teen. We will provide your child with the resources, proper treatment, and encouragement they need to guarantee a brighter tomorrow. 

Other Tips for Teen Opioid Addiction

  • Seek support from other parents going through the same situation

Opioid addiction is challenging for teens and parents alike. It can be beneficial to speak with other parents who are going through similar situations. This will help you realize that you are not alone in this journey. Additionally, you will be able to get advice on how to deal with your child.

  • Change the way you play the game

There are techniques you can use to turn the tide if your child has hit rock bottoms, such as positive reinforcement or viewpoint shift. For instance, if they tell you that they’d like to stop using drugs, reward them with snacks or games to help them stay motivated.
Celebrating small victories is essential; it serves as a reminder that the situation is getting better and recovery is near. In addition, emotional support and reinforcing good decisions will help your child change their behavior.

  • Learn more about teen opioid addiction

It is critical to educate yourself on the situation at hand so you can make better judgment calls. You may learn more about young opioid addiction by reading books or online articles, as well as seeking treatment and support from qualified specialists.

  • Remind yourself that you need help too

Parents can get tired and make mistakes, too. Maybe you need a night off to recharge or some child care for the day. Whatever the case may be, do not hesitate to ask for help. Surround yourself with people who can help you deal with difficult situations and strengthen your resilience.