The use and abuse of opioids has become a serious health issue in the United States. This growing problem is particularly significant in teenagers. More people in this age group are either dying or ending up in an emergency room after suffering the effects of overdose. The plain truth is that parents of teens should understand the dangers of these drugs and also be prepared to discuss this difficult subject with their children. The following brief article will briefly examine opioids, as well as offer suggestions about how parents can talk about the dangers of these drugs with their teens.
What Are Opioids?
This classification of drugs is known as narcotics. Typically, these substances are contained in medications used to alleviate pain and are prescribed for such purposes. Opioids are particularly dangerous because they work in tandem with specific brain chemicals to lessen the physical discomfort a user might experience due to a variety of causes. In therapeutic doses, such actions might prove beneficial. However, when narcotics are abused, brain chemistry can be altered, which may require the brain to necessitate more of the drug in question to produce the pain-relieving effects. Increased usage may not only result in addiction but might also precipitate dangerous, potentially life-threatening manifestations like brain damage and suppression of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Damage to a teen’s brain and central nervous system can be especially severe because those structures experience a rapid period of development during this period and any major alteration or disturbance could result in irreversible destruction.
Compounding the problem is the ease with which young people can gain access to these drugs. Oftentimes, teens do not have to buy these drugs illegally on some shady street corner. On some occasions, they might receive such substances from friends or swipe them from the medicine cabinets inside their homes after they were legally prescribed to a parent or sibling for legitimate health reasons.
How To Speak To Teenagers About The Dangers Of Opioids?
Experts recommend that parents educate themselves about every aspect of these drugs. The more educated a parent is, the more he or she can instill the hard facts into his or her child.
Choose The Most Appropriate Time
Attempting to initiate a serious conversation with a teenager can be a challenge at any time. Some drug counselors and physicians suggest not starting such a discussion out of the blue but rather waiting until an opportunity presents itself. Good times to broche the subject might be when a television news segment discusses some aspect of opioids or should the unfortunate circumstance of a celebrity or well-known figure using and suffering the impact of such substances arise.
Explain Why People Might Turn To Drug Use
In some instances, illustrating that some people turn to drugs as an escape or a method of fitting in might convince certain young people there are better ways cope with their problems or make friends.
Avoiding Lecturing Or Preaching
While it is important to be honest and forthright about the dangers of opioids, parents are advised to refrain from being too adamant about making their point. Many young people will be put off by any lesson that turns confrontational or seems to come across as preaching.