How do I Talk to my Kids about Opioids?
In 2015 more people died from overdose on opioid drugs tan they did from car crashes and gun violence combined. Estimations for 2016 were at 64,000 individuals as of September of 2017. Over 20,000 individuals died as a result of Fentanyl overdose, a synthetic opioid considered to be nearly 100 times more potent than morphine.
One in eight high school seniors used opioids according to self-report in 2013, writes Tufts Now. Under the age of 17, 122,000 teenagers and 427,000 adolescents between 18 and 25 had developed a problem with pain relieving drugs, like prescription opiate narcotics.
The opioid epidemic facing America and much of the world is a current and topical issue that needs to be discussed with our children. Even our best efforts to keep narcotic prescriptions out of the household and out of our children’s lives does not guarantee that our children will not find them in other ways. Discussing opioids, addiction, and overdose is critical.
There is a plentitude of information currently available on opioids, the opioid epidemic, and effects of opioids both short term and long term. Information on addiction, how addiction works in the brain, and how opiate addiction specifically works in the adolescent or teenage brain is also available. Be informed in order to provide accurate information.
Provide Accurate Information
Parents might be tempted to provide filtered information in order to scare or intimidate their kids away from drugs. Children are smart and independent, deserving of tre respect to be given accurate information. Problematically, when teens suspect that their parents are giving them false information, they will turn to their peers. Though their peers may also provide false information, like “opiates aren’t that dangerous” a teen will be more inclined to trust their peers.
Be Blunt About Addiction
What your kid’s peers may not be fully educated on is the real risk and possibility of addiction. The adolescent brain is still developing and is especially susceptible to addiction. What develops in these formative years becomes part of their programming, creating a likelihood for addiction long term.
Get Information From Your Kid
Research shows that the more a parent knows about their kid’s life, the better. Get to know your kid’s friends and the parents of your kid’s friends. Have a good understanding of where your kid goes and what they do when they are away from home. Ask what they know about opioids, the epidemic, and addiction. Create a safe and open space to discuss any experimentation or abuse that has taken place. Make sure kids know that they can trust and come to you if they have a problem or one of their friends is struggling with addiction.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is a private residential treatment program in Mississippi, serving adolescent and teenage boys with foundation building, life-cleansing programming for recovery. If addiction has found its way into the life your loved child, call us today for information on our clinical and academic support: 662-598-4214