Opioid Use Among Teens
May 8, 2018

Opioid Use Among Teens

Around the world the opioid epidemic continues to spread. It affects everyone: adults, teens, children, infants, and our elderly. With the rise in opioid abuse comes the rise in death counts, and without everyone’s help, it will continue to rise.

As if teens did not already have enough to deal with when facing peer pressure within their world of socialization, prescriptions drugs are not left out of the mix, among marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and other common street drugs that tempt our teens all too often. Today, many teens feel that a prescription pill from their parent’s medicine cabinet is just as good of a high as any other drug. This needs to end.

“In 2005, 4.4 million teenagers (aged 12 to 17) in the US admitted to taking prescription painkillers, and 2.3 million took a prescription stimulant such as Ritalin. […] The average age for first-time users is now 13 to 14” (drugfreeworld.org). With social media and other factors surrounding our teens, their ability to say no appears to be on the road to becoming non-existent. It was even reported that teens felt that “prescription drugs are much safer than illegal street drugs…” (drugfreeworld.org). On that same note, many teens just simply don’t see any harm at all in taking medications longer than needed or taking opioid medications prescribed to others, including their parents or other family members.

It’s important to fully understand that opioid abuse is not prevalent just among adults. As mentioned before, many teens simply don’t see an issue with their using of prescription medications. “Nearly 5 percent of patients ages 13 to 21 who had common surgical procedures continued to receive opioid prescription refills three to six months after surgery” (U of M). As adults, we need to educate our teens on the dangers of prolonging the use of opioids when they are unnecessary or no longer needed. Not only do our teens need to understand the dangers of opioid addiction but the steps they can take to never have to face such a problem.

Educate Your Teen To:

  • Say No. Like any street drug, prescription medications can be dangerous if not used for their intended purpose. When you take opioids, whether prescribed to you or not, you are taking the chance of becoming dependent on them and the effects they have on your body.
  • Stop Refilling. If you must take an opioid, such as after a major surgery, then be sure that you are not telling yourself that you need another refill, when in reality the pain has subsided enough to use over-the-counter medications, like Tylenol, Motrin, or Ibuprofen.
  • Use Proper Disposal Methods. When you know that your body no longer needs the prescription, it’s important to properly dispose of them. Do not flush or throw away old, unused, or unwanted prescription medications; instead, use a product like NarcX to render the medication non-retrievable, immediately, and throw the solution bottle away when finished. This will keep you, your friends, and your family, including your siblings, safe from opioid addiction.

At Rx Disposal, our goal is to help end the opioid epidemic. Our NarcX solution can be used in hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and common households to help dispose of old, unwanted, or unused medications safely, effectively, and quickly. Our solution is more cost efficient than a Take-Back Program, and you can dispose of your medications right onsite where you have your solution. Once your solution has disposed of the maximum medications recommended (dependent on the size of your product/bottle), you can easily throw it in the trash, knowing that it is safe to the environment. Keep your family safe, and be part of the solution. 1.303.434.1630

 

Sources:

https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/rounds/prescription-opioid-use-a-concern-for-adolescent-surgery-patients

https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/abuse-international-statistics.html

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