Do Only ‘Bad Kids’ get Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol?
The opioid epidemic which has spread among teens and adolescents has proven one thing to be certain: addiction belongs to nobody. Addiction is a disease which does not discriminate. Race, color, heritage, academic achievements, sports, social standing, socioeconomic bracket, and neighborhood don’t make a difference when it comes to addiction. There are some influencing factors, like genetics, which can cause a predisposition to addiction. However, the more than 100,000 lives lost to opioid overdose in the last two years has proven that addiction can happen in the most unsuspecting places to even the ‘best’ of people.
Imagine a young boy named Kyle. Kyle is the President of his 8th grade class. On the weekends he spends time with friends, family, and volunteering. Kyle is set to graduate in the top percentile with numerous achievements on his middle school resume. He’s well liked on campus, known by teachers, and is an all around good kid. How does he do it? Parents and teachers ask. He’s just amazing. Unbeknownst to the people around him, Kyle secured a friend who has a prescription for stimulant ADHD medications. Kyle has been steadily abusing medication since the seventh grade in order to keep up with the pressure of his persona. While Kyle doesn’t get high, per say, he also experiences some symptoms of withdrawal when he doesn’t take the medication. Without his medication, Kyle doesn’t feel like he can perform in his personality and be the person everyone wants him to be. Underneath, Kyle feels lost and alone.
You could imagine another young boy named Scott. Scott is an all around athlete. Winning games, making touchdowns, and taking the team to state championships is no issue for Scott. It’s true that Scott likes to have a good time. In the area where Scott is growing up, all the kids drink and the parents keep a close eye. Nobody would believe that Scott would try hard drugs. His grades aren’t the best, and people know that his Dad is hard on him when it comes to sport. Still, Scott is a good sportsman and team player. Few people realize that Scott hides a tremendous amount of anxiety about his future as a professional athlete. He hides his self doubt by pushing himself to perform. When Scott suffers a career-ending injury, he is prescribed a narcotic opioid painkiller. Not having to play, not having to train, and just being able to relax into the numbing, euphoric effects of the opioid painkillers is unlike anything Scott has experienced. The pain never goes away from Scott and he continues to take the pills. Well after the doctor recommends he stops taking them, Scott continues to find them.
Are these bad boys? These are the boys that go to our schools, live in our towns, and can die from drug overdose because they don’t fit the stigma of what an addicted teen or adolescent should look like. Addiction can come into our lives at any time by way of our young boys. When addiction does show up, we can be ready to make the call, put our boy in treatment, and support him on the path to recovery.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers longterm residential care to adolescent and teenage boys struggling with addiction. Our foundation building, life cleansing program bring the family together again in mind, body, and spirit, for total healing. Call us today for information on our clinical programs and academic support system: 1-662-598-4214