Opioid Addiction Among the American Youth

August 29, 2016

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Youth Opiate Addiction

Opiates are the nation’s biggest concern right now in the name of drug and alcohol abuse and with addiction in general.  Quite truthfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), labeled the nation’s opiate problem as an actual epidemic, the first drug addiction issue in the country to ever earn the label of a legitimate epidemic.  Combating youth opiate addiction is a frequent topic among medical professionals too because sadly, enough youth of the nation are easily the most affected by opiate abuse and addiction.

The Truth of Youth Opiate Addiction

The illicit opioid use problem in our nation has easily more than quadrupled between the years of 1991 and 2012. Those numbers are soaring astronomically among those individuals between the ages of 12 to 25 too, making the young adults of the nation the most prone to suffer from opiate abuse by far.

Over-prescribing of such drugs is what results in addiction, or so the medical experts say.  There is a lot of truth to this because it is the over-prescribing of such drugs that put the drugs out into the hands of the American populace with so much regularity and prevalence.  Shockingly, there are enough opiate pain reliever pills in the nation to medicate every American adult every day for a month, and that is just our current supply, with more drugs being made every day.  The United States represents only five percent of the world’s population yet we consume more than seventy-five percent of the planet’s supply of opiate drugs.  Finally, 90 percent of drug-addicted youth get no treatment at all according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Statistics on Addiction to Opiates

With the young adult population of the nation, it’s almost always heroin or opiate pain relievers.  Nearly gone are the days when young adults and teens turned to marijuana as their drug of choice.

Below are some of the statistics:

  • The fastest growing drug of abuse in American high schools is heroin by far.  Heroin and prescription drugs have long since replaced alcohol and marijuana among the American youth.  Many wealthy communities all across the country are reporting very, very high school overdose deaths from heroin, a shocking new trend in teenage drug use that is only extant because of the appalling trend of prescription drug abuse.
  • About twenty-four percent of teens were surveyed in the 2000 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study admitted to misusing or abusing a prescription drug at least once in their lifetimes.  Since 2008, that figure has increased by 33 percent.  More and more young adults are abusing prescription drugs annually.
  • Among young adults of the age range of 18 to 25, monthly prescription drug abuse during 2012 was 5.3 percent, similar to the rates in 2010 and 2011.  In 2015 though, it had jumped to over ten percent.  Overall, the rate of prescription drug abuse among young adults aged 18 to 25 has increased from its mid-high rates during the years from 2003 to 2007 (ranging from 5.9 to 6.5 percent), to its highest rates, (10 to 15 percent), in 2015.  According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, the number of adolescents seen in an emergency department (ED) for the use of illicit drugs and the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals skyrocketed from 2004 to 2014.
  • Enough painkillers were prescribed by American doctors during one month in 2010 to medicate every American around the clock for an entire month!  The truth is, a majority of those who take prescription pain medicine for non-medical reasons get them free from a friend or relative, who got them from a doctor who was over-prescribing them. For the numbers on it, in nearly 85 percent of those cases, the friend or relative obtained them from one doctor. One in five users obtains prescriptions themselves from one doctor, making the problem one of our health system, not one of trafficking from other countries.

What to Do About Youth Opiate Addiction

The only way to properly address an issue as bad as youth opiate addiction is with proper and effective and immediate rehabilitation.  If those who are addicted are rehabilitated, then the issue and the problem can be resolved and brought down a little bit at least.  If not, then the problem is going to get a lot worse long before it gets any better.

Effective rehabilitation of an inpatient nature is needed because only with inpatient rehabilitation can addiction be resolved in someone who suffers greatly from chemical dependence and from mental addiction too, something that young adults who are addicted to opiates always have to deal with.  With inpatient rehab, youth opiate addiction can finally start to go down and be resolved once and for all.

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