What is Opiate Addiction?
Two out of every three American adults with a diagnosable opiate abuse disorder began abusing opiates before the age of 25. The opioid epidemic has been raging on for the past several decades, and because addiction is a disease that does not discriminate, every demographic has been deeply affected. However, it is important to take a look at the impact that the opioid epidemic has had on adolescents and young adults throughout the country.
I Think My Son is Abusing Opiates
It is also estimated that one out of every five adolescents and young adults in the US have reported misusing an opioid narcotic, ranging from heroin to a prescription painkiller like oxycodone or hydrocodone. If you believe that your son might be abusing opiates, it is important to find out so that you can help point him in the direction of inpatient treatment as quickly as possible. Not only is opioid addiction a highly progressive disease, but drugs like heroin and painkillers can severely damage the brain and lead to serious and lasting issues.
It might be difficult for you to tell whether or not your son is abusing opiates. Adolescence can be a difficult time as it stands, and significant hormone changes can also lead to changes in behavior. But how can you tell if your son is abusing a serious chemical substance, or if he is simply experiencing the mood swings that go hand in hand with maturation? there are numerous telltale signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for.
How Can I Tell If My Son Is Using Opiates?
If you believe that your son might be abusing opiates of any kind, keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms:
- Significant changes in mood, which are typically marked by periods of happiness and seemingly unexplainable periods of agitation and aggression.
- Insomnia and other sleep-related issues, which frequently lead to feelings of fatigue and disrupted sleep patterns. For example, you might find that your son sleeps more throughout the day and stays up later.
- Changes to eating patterns, typically marked by a loss of appetite which can lead to weight loss, coupled with periods of binge eating.
- A change in friends. For example, you might notice that your son is not bringing his old friends around anymore, and he is hanging out with an entirely new group of people – people that he doesn’t want you to get to know.
- Losing interest in hobbies and activities that were previously enjoyed.
- Paying less attention to rules and guidelines that were previously respected. For example, your son might start to miss a curfew or get in trouble at school. It is very common for adolescents who are abusing opiates to experience a sharp decline in grades, to start skipping class, and to pull out of extracurricular activities.
- Asking for money, or stealing money from family members and friends. Adolescents who are struggling with drug abuse also steal items that they think are valuable and pawn them off for more cash.
- Legal issues, which can involve increased experiences with law enforcement agents and getting in trouble at House parties or other social functions where there are alcohol use and the presence of recreational drugs.
If you are still unsure as to whether or not your son has been abusing opiates, feel free to reach out to our team of experienced professionals for more valuable insight.
Age-Specific Addiction Treatment
At Agape Treatment Center, we offer an age-specific program option for young adults and adolescents who have been struggling with substance abuse and who need a focused level of care. Our treatment center has quickly gained a reputation as one of Southern Florida’s premier clinical treatment options, and our team of compassionate and dedicated industry professionals has developed an individualized program of care quite unlike any other. For more information, or to ask additional questions about opiate abuse and addiction, reach out to us today.