Lakeview Health, an addiction treatment and recovery facility, ran a story in November of 2017 about a teen named Ryan. Ryan’s story really resonates with those researching opioid addiction, and it tells us just how badly the opioid epidemic is affecting teens, and at times even younger victims. Like we always say, the opioid epidemic does not play favorites when it comes to choosing its victims.
A GREAT KID
Parents often disassociate their children from ever being in any kind of trouble, especially trouble with drugs. There are countless stories where we hear that parents viewed their child as a normal, well-behaved teen. Some of you can guess what is said next: “They just started hanging out with the wrong crowd.” It is not hard for children and teens to be heavily influenced by people they associate with on a day-to-day or even a weekly basis. At their young age, persuasion is heavily used and unfortunately, it often times succeeds. Ryan was a teen who was always respectful towards his parents, held down a job, and consistently achieved good grades.
RADICAL CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR
In Ryan’s case, his parents almost immediately noticed that something was not right. Ryan’s behaviors began to change drastically, and he started to be disrespectful and irresponsible. They began to notice that his grades were dropping, then they heard that he was falling asleep in class. At the time, Ryan worked for his father, and a turning point to his parents’ realization of his addiction came when employees informed them that Ryan often showed up to work looking “wasted”. Down the road, Ryan admitted to his parents that he was addicted to opioids, which was brought on after a surgery he had received where he was prescribed pain medication.
WHAT WASN’T BEING DONE
Ryan’s mother expresses the frustration she experienced when Ryan’s doctor put him on yet another medication in attempt to cease his addiction to painkillers. This is something that many folks are faced with every day: one pill to stop an addiction to another pill. This was an unfortunate case of a doctor prescribing more medication instead of referring Ryan to a more beneficial and effective resource.
THE FINAL TURNING POINT
Ryan had attempted to go to rehabilitation; however, he was not invested in getting better. Because Ryan did not think he needed treatment, he left rehabilitation and fell further into a depressed state. Ryan began using a lot of cocaine and opioids and even left his job. He was beginning to lose his will to live. One day, Ryan showed up to his parents’ house, telling them that he needed help. He was able to return to rehabilitation with not only the want to get better but a solid family support system. With these crucial tools, Ryan was able to take the appropriate steps to achieving and maintaining his sobriety. As of November 2017, when this story surfaced, Ryan had been sober since March 2013.
If only all stories could turn out as successful as Ryan’s, then the world would not be in such turmoil with the opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, many people do not seek help like Ryan, let alone have the support system of family or friends that encourage sobriety. In order to achieve successes for addict recovery, we must first lend our own hands into the process.
There are many ways you can help end the opioid epidemic; some of those things are: ensuring proper storage of medications; monitoring medication use for yourself or family members; and properly disposing of medications no longer needed or expired. By incorporating Rx Disposal’s NarcX solution, you can help to keep medications out of the hands of those with the potential for opioid abuse. Be part of the solution today (303) 434-1630.
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