The opioid crisis keeps hitting us with frightening headlines and one heartbreaking story after another. It’s overwhelming, but if you’re a parent
that suspects or already knows your son or daughter is using opioids, placing his or
her well-being in jeopardy, it’s not just another headline. It’s personal. We know firsthand the fear and frustration of a parent trying to figure out how to help their teen or young adult, who is struggling with substance use. We are here to help educate families and offer support. There is hope and concrete actions you can take to help your own family through this crisis. Let’s start by understanding what opioids
are and how opioid addiction develops. Opioids include a large number of drugs, from pain medication that could have been legally prescribed to heroin. All of these substances are opioids and when misused or abused, they all pose significant risks. When not closely monitored, even legally prescribed use has the potential to slip into abuse and addiction. With continued opioid use comes increasing levels of tolerance. Larger and larger doses are needed to achieve the same effects to simply feel normal and eventually, it’s an all consuming struggle
to avoid the pain of withdrawal. People in recovery describe their past use
as a matter of survival. As the demands of opioid addiction become increasingly difficult to keep up with, individuals are increasingly likely to engage in risky
behaviors. Behaviors they would have never otherwise imagined for themselves, like using intravenously to achieve more immediate or powerful results. Intravenous, or IV drug use, is the injection of a substance directly into a vein usually, but not always, in the arm. Heroin and other opioids, like prescription
pain pills, that are crushed and prepared, are commonly used this way. Keep watching to understand why IV use adds another layer to an all ready risky behavior.