The opioid epidemic which has swept America for the last 7 years has reached younger and younger generations. Slowly, the numbers are turning for the better, though some are still startlingly devastating. In 2015, more people died of opioid overdose than car accidents and gun violence. Numerically, there is little arguing that the opioid epidemic is still far from over. Unfortunately, the newer victims of the opioid epidemic complicate the problem. Opioid overdoses in children have also been increasing as many find access to opioid drugs themselves, like prescription painkillers in their parent’s medicine cabinets. Another opioid-based medication causing problems for children is buprenorphine.
It’s crucial for parents to be aware of the dangers of buprenorphine and to get your loved one the addiction treatment programs they need. Through substance use programs, your son or loved one is able to heal and recover from buprenorphine or other harmful opioid medications.
Is Buprenorphine Safe for My Teen?
Buprenorphine is the main ingredient in opioid replacement medications, also called substitute therapy medications. For medication-assisted treatment, buprenorphine is used to help minimize the effects of opioid withdrawal to safely support the detox process while avoiding cravings for relapse. Popular medications like Suboxone and Subutex use buprenorphine. Pediatrics, an online journal, published a study that examined the nearly 200,000 calls made between 2005 and 2015 to poison control centers. Specifically, these calls were made on behalf of children who had ingested opioid substances. Voactiv reports that the first few years of the study parallel the beginning of the country’s exposure to heavy opioid drugs which started causing addiction. “Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first few years of the study saw an increase of 86 percent of opioid exposures to children,” the article writes. “After 2009, researchers recorded a decline of almost 32 percent,” except, the article emphasizes when it came to buprenorphine. “Instead, buprenorphine exposures increased from 2014 to 2015 after declining from 2011 to 2013.”
The ages of “children” for the study included teens and adolescents; anyone under the age of 20. Almost 90 percent of the buprenorphine exposures during the study were in children from infancy to five years old. In the last two years of the study, two of the years with the highest opioid overdose death rates among adults, the study “…saw a pretty significant increase in exposures to buprenorphine…among children.” More than half of the 175 children who died as the result of exposure to buprenorphine were teenagers. As parents in recovery themselves or as parents of a recovering adolescent or teen, it is of critical importance to safely store and monitor the use of replacement medications, or all medications. Many adolescent addictions start from medicine cabinet experimentation. Knowing the dangers of these harmful prescriptions can help parents monitor the behaviors of their teens and get them the help they need as soon as they notice a problem occurring.
Substance Use Treatment at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is committed to healing the family unit, mind, body, and spirit. Our residential treatment facility for adolescents and teens is remotely located in Mississippi, offering the privacy and sanctuary children need to heal. Our team provides a variety of experiential therapy programs to help your loved one recover from damaging substance use. Some of our therapies include the following:
- Adventure and nature therapy program
- Art therapy program
- Pet therapy program
- Equine therapy program
- Music therapy program
- Yoga therapy program
- Fly fishing therapy program
Is buprenorphine safe? Can your loved one recover from substance use? Let Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center help you and your family heal. For information on our programs and detox services, contact Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center today at 662.373.2830. Let us help you and your family find a way to recover.