Teen Drug Overdose Deaths on the Rise: Is Your Family Safe?
The risk of teen drug overdose death is again on the rise. Young men and women are especially at risk of suffering an accidental opioid overdose. After a period of decline between 2007 and 2014, the rate of overdose deaths in teens again spiked by 35 percent by 2015. For young men, the rate is usually higher.
This frightening pattern is prevalent around the country. Opioids affect all manner of teens regardless of background, from rural areas to suburbs to inner city youths. If your child is battling an addiction, the time to enter one of the many caring and professional rehab centers for teens is now.
Drug Overdose Death in Adolescents is a Persistent Danger
In the late 1990s, the risk of teens dying from a drug overdose was staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate “more than doubled” between 1999 and 2007. In 1999, 1.6 adolescents per 100,000 died as a result of overdose. In 2007, that number had risen to 4.2.
During the early 2000s—from 2007 to 2014—a decline in teen overdose incidents appeared to reflect a long-term positive trend. However, in 2015, hopes and families shattered again as accidental deaths started to rise.
Although drug addiction and overdose affect both males and females, the adolescent male population is consistently out in front. That was true in the late 1990s, and it is true again today. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of overdose deaths in young men was 70 percent higher than the overdose death rate for young women.
More Deaths are Attributed to Opioids, Particularly Heroin
The Chicago Tribune says 50,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2015. That is the highest number in history and it is still climbing. Most of the deaths were attributed to opioids.
The opioid epidemic that is affecting Florida residents and the whole country has hit the young population especially hard. Access to prescription painkillers is one culprit. A bigger threat is heroin. If fentanyl is also present, the result is a toxic combination that often causes death. That happened to a 10-year-old Florida boy in July, an incident that the Washington Post says shook parents, lawmakers, and whole communities.
Opioids account for more adolescent drug-related deaths than any other drug. Heroin is inexpensive compared to prescription painkillers, and it is not difficult to find. It is also increasingly mixed with fentanyl, whether or not the user is aware of it.
Rehab Centers for Teens Bring Hope for a Healthier, Sober Future
No parent–even a permissive mom or dad–imagines that one day their child will fall prey to drug addiction. Even less likely is the concept that one day that child might die because of it. Addiction is never planned and the CDC says virtually all teen overdose deaths are accidental. Intervention now can help prevent the worst and lay the foundation for a better future.
Rehab centers for teens use a personalized approach that treats the whole person. Just as no two teens are identical, there is no such thing as one drug rehab treatment program that works for everyone. That is why the three-pronged approach is relied on to curate the best plan for the patient.
Teens who enter into rehab should expect:
- Therapeutic learning: learning more about themselves and how to live soberly
- Cognitive healing: addressing the personal causes for addiction including co-occurring disorders and other issues
- Medical assistance: helping manage the symptoms of withdrawal and recovery to minimize pain, discomfort, and drug cravings
While teenagers should be concerned about exams, healthy socializing, and getting into college, many are burdened with a life-threatening addiction. Unfortunately, parents do not always have “the talk” early and many do not know that there is a problem until their child is tightly in the grips of addiction, or much worse, one of the tragic victims of overdose death.