The best thing you can do as a parent amid the current opioid crisis is to talk to your teen about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), kids who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who are not taught about the dangers. And still only 22 percent of teens report discussing abusing prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription with their parents, notes SAMHSA.
What's perhaps more alarming is that more teenagers die from taking prescription drugs than the use of cocaine and heroin combined. Opioid abuse can come with some devastating neurological and physical consequences, including:
Prescription drug abuse also increases emergency room visits and suicide attempts. In 2009, more than 1 million emergency room visits involved the non-medical use of prescription drugs, notes SAMHSA.
More Talking Points on Painkillers
Experts encourage parents to develop an ongoing dialogue with their children and to look for spontaneous, "teachable moments" to lay the groundwork for open, honest communication. Here are a few more tips to help your teen avoid opioid abuse.
Christian Drug Addiction Treatment for Adolescents
At Christian Rehab Network, we offer a faith-based rehab for adolescents (ages 13 to 17). Our group and individual therapy, Bible study, pastoral care, and recreational recovery activities give adolescents age-appropriate strategies for coping with issues like depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance use disorders and social difficulties. To learn more, call 877-310-9545.