Understanding Teenage Opiate Abuse

Teenage opiate abuse has increased by over 70% since the late 90s. When imagining a heroin or opiate addict,a teen in therapy at a adolescent opiate addiction treatment most people have a very clear picture in their mind — low income, ragged clothing, and black eyes. This picture can be very misleading, and as a result, many parents remain blithely unaware that their children are experimenting with heroin and opiates. The truth is that opiate addiction is the leading cause of drug overdose in the United States, regardless of social class, age, or location.

While these statistics can be terrifying for parents who suspect adolescent drug addiction or abuse, Ascend Healthcare can help guide you and your child toward a healthier body, mind, and soul through our adolescent opiate addiction treatment programs. Learn more about different types of opiates, their side effects, and the signs that your child may be abusing opiates here.

Types of Opiates

Opiates are no longer the mysterious drug that was smoked in hidden dens and obtained through suspicious associates. While heroin is still a widely distributed illegal substance, there are other prescription opiates that your child may find, use, and abuse. Some of the most common opiates include:

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin & Percocet)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine

If your teen is experimenting with any of these substances or has developed an addiction, they can benefit from Ascend’s adolescent opiate addiction treatment program.

Causes of Teenage Opiate Abuse

The human body is dotted with receptors for opiates like heroin. Many are clustered within the brain, and when opiates enter the body, they attach to these receptors. Once attached, a series of chemical reactions take place, causing the body to release natural chemicals that signal pleasure. For many teens, these feelings of happiness make it an attractive drug to try.

Teens who are worried about college pressure or peer influences might enjoy the boost of pleasure and euphoria that results from opiate use. The drug can wipe out all their fears and concerns and make day-to-day life seem just a bit more bearable. Other teens may use opiates because they’re already experienced with drug use. Since the same high from opiates can be delivered in many forms, they could turn to heroin as an alternative to expensive pills such as OxyContin. Although opiates are highly addictive, an adolescent opiate addiction treatment program can help your teen break the cycle of use and recover.

Side Effects of Teenage Opiate Abuse

Whether your child was taking a prescribed opioid or they found and abused it on their own, these drugs are incredibly habit-forming. An increase in tolerance may prompt adolescents to take more and more of these drugs until it causes irreparable harm. Some of the most common side effects of opioid use (even prescription use) include:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Slowed breathing
  • Coma

Continued opioid abuse can result in a number of long term consequences, including:

  • Depression
  • Psychological and neurological effects from hypoxia
  • Increased risk of fractures
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal dysregulation
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular events
  • Immunosuppressive effects
  • Overdose

In order to help your teen avoid these harmful effects of addiction, find an adolescent opiate addiction treatment program. Lasting recovery is possible through professional help from a treatment center.

Does Your Teen Need Adolescent Opiate Addiction Treatment?

Opioid abuse is not invisible. You can look for signs and symptoms of addiction in your teen, including:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Social withdrawal
  • Need for money
  • Theft
  • Change in speech
  • Nodding off
  • Weight loss
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Small pupils

If your teen is exhibiting any of these behaviors, contact Ascend Healthcare about our California opiate addiction treatment program today. 

Adolescent Opiate Addiction Treatment at Ascend Healthcare

At Ascend Healthcare, we’re here to help. All we want is to offer you and your child a better solution to coping with everyday stressors and social pressure. Through our thorough assessments and personalized treatment plans, your child can explore the underlying causes of their opioid abuse and confront their fears in a safe environment.

We place a strong emphasis on family therapy and dual diagnosis modalities to ensure effective, long-term opiate addiction treatment in California. If you’re ready to provide your child with the foundation they need to find success throughout their life, reach out to our admissions specialists at 310.388.3713 now.