ADOLESCENT OPIOID USE TREATMENT PROGRAM
Opioids have been gaining attention in recent years as one of the most dangerous types of drugs, for adolescents in particular. Their availability, high chance of dependence, and potentially lethal overdoses make opioids a serious problem. And, as rates of opioid use have been on the rise across many age groups, healthcare professionals have been working hard to spread awareness about how important it is to keep these drugs away from young people. Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center provides adolescent opioid use treatment in response to increased opioid use. Our boys’ substance use treatment programs provide the comprehensive care young men need for lasting recovery.
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, opioids are the third most-used mind-altering substance among Americans aged 12 to 17 — trailing alcohol and marijuana by only a few percentage points. But what are these drugs, and where are our youth finding them? Much of the danger stems from the fact that most opioids are prescription drugs, commonly prescribed for pain conditions or after surgery or an injury. Many people supply these drugs by visiting multiple doctors’ offices complaining of severe pain, receiving prescriptions, and selling the pills at a profit. These drugs can include common painkillers such as:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Fentanyl (Demerol)
HOW OPIOID USE DISORDER WORKS
Opioids also include less common drugs and illegal drugs, such as morphine and heroin. But all opioids are equally dangerous when misused or overused, regardless of whether the drug is a prescription medication or not. If you or your child is given a prescription for a narcotic painkiller, you should be sure to take them as directed and promptly dispose of any unused pills. When it’s found your teen is abusing prescription drugs, our teen boys’ opioid treatment program is available.
Your body actually produces a form of opioids on its own — these natural chemicals are called endogenous opioids, and function in the brain to dull pain, calm the mind and body and produce feelings of pleasure and happiness. Endogenous opioids might be produced as a response to mild pain or as a means of rewarding your body for something good, like the endorphins produced during exercise. Addiction therapy brings back healthy emotional responses to find the joy in life for each adolescent.
Synthetic opioids use the same pathways in the brain as endogenous opioids and produce similar effects. However, synthetic opioids have a much stronger effect, flooding the brain with a pleasant numbing sensation and a rush of euphoria. If there is no real pain for the opioids to correct, the drugs produce a high rather than balancing out your body’s sensations.
Opioid drugs become dangerous with continued use, as the brain and body grow accustomed to experiencing the heightened levels of pleasure and can no longer achieve happiness with natural, endogenous opioid responses. An opioid addict relies on drugs to feel calm and content in everyday life and craves the drug to avoid the anxiety and sadness that comes between highs. What’s more, tolerance to opioids builds quickly. If you use these drugs, you’ll need increasingly higher doses to achieve the same effects. This puts users at a very high risk of overdosing — and opioid overdoses can be fatal, as the relaxing effects of the drugs can slow breathing and heart rate to dangerously low levels. Stop the risks of the cycle of dependence at our adolescent opioid use treatment program.