Opioid addiction can develop in a wide range of people, including teens. These drugs are very addictive and dangerous. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency for opioids in 2017. For these reasons, opioid addiction treatment is available and is the safest way to overcome these drugs.

Overview of Opioids

A teen girl explains her problems to a therapist as a part of her opioid addiction treatmentOpioids are semi-synthetic derivatives of opium. Although opiates are natural derivatives of the drug, many health experts call them opioids too. The reason is that they have similar chemical structures and work the same way. Examples include codeine, morphine, heroin, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.

These drugs affect the central nervous system, stimulating the production of endorphins. The brain naturally produces these chemicals to perform many functions, including relieving pain. However, when people take a large amount of opioids, endorphin levels become too high and create a sense of euphoria.

With prolonged opioid abuse, the brain stops producing endorphins on its own. As a result, users rely on the opioids to recreate that initial euphoria. This leads to addiction over time.

Doctors often prescribe opioids for short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain. They don’t typically prescribe them to teens because of their addictive nature. Teens who are curious, however, might take their parents’ opioids if they’re easily accessible.

Those who like the high from opioid abuse could switch to heroin when they can’t get prescription pills. Heroin is also cheaper to buy than illegal prescription-grade opioids. Teens who make the switch, however, have an even higher risk of developing an addiction. Despite its name, opioid addiction treatment may be necessary at any stage of opioid use.

About Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid abuse and addiction require detox, therapy, and aftercare support. Medication-assisted treatment might also be necessary.

The detox part of the process typically takes up to 10 days. The withdrawal symptoms that arise can be very painful, so teens must have medical supervision. Doctors and nurses can provide medications that relieve the symptoms.

Once they’re stable, they begin therapy in a rehab program. The optimal scenario is a long-term program that lasts as long as the teens need help. A treatment plan could include a month-long residential program and then a two-month outpatient program. If they need it, they could receive medication-assisted treatment during rehab.

The therapies that teens participate in address their problematic behaviors. They also teach healthy ways of managing emotions and processing information. Teens also learn coping skills to avoid relapse. Some examples of therapies in rehab include art, family, one-on-one, group, music, and equine therapies.

After outpatient rehab, opioid addiction treatment doesn’t end. It’s important for teens to keep getting support, whether it’s through sober living programs or from self-help groups. Private therapy is also a good option.

Teens might continue medication-assisted treatment for several months if it was part of rehab. The medicine controls cravings as they learn to live in the real world without drugs. However, they’ll slowly taper off of the medications so that they don’t develop a dependence.

Opioid Treatment at Destinations for Teens

Has your teen started using opioids? Whether or not addiction has developed, Destinations for Teens can provide the treatment that he or she needs. We offer a variety of rehab programs and services, including:

Aside from opioid use, Destinations for Teens provides treatment for alcohol, marijuana and meth use. We offer care for mental health disorders as well. Since they often occur with substance use disorder, we offer dual diagnosis treatment to address them.

Don’t let opioids ruin your teen’s life. Get opioid addiction treatment so that he or she can still have a bright future. Call 877-466-0620 to find out more about how Destinations for Teens can help.