Opioids—drugs that are natural or synthetic—are popular amongst teens. Whether they are using prescription drugs such as OxyContin or illegal substances such as heroin, opioids offer the ability to feel pleasure when a teen is confronted with stress. According to the National Center For Drug Abuse Statistics, 2.3% of adolescents between 12 and 17 have abused opioids. If your teen is using opioids, reach out to Destinations For Teens. Our opioid addiction treatment in Southern California will provide the guidance to help them stop.
What Is an Opioid?
Opioids are a category of natural or synthetic drugs that influence the opioid receptors within the brain. These receptors can control a user’s feelings of pain and pleasure. As a result, they are highly addictive because of their ability to place users in a euphoric state. Pain relievers such as oxycodone, Vicodin, codeine, and morphine are all examples of legal prescription opioids. There are, however, several illegal opioids. It is not uncommon for opioids to be confused with opiates. The definition of an opioid is sometimes confused with opiates, natural substances taken from the flowering opium poppy plant. These can include codeine, heroin, and morphine. While all opiates are indeed opioids, all opioids are not opiates. Therefore, when answering the question, “what are opioids?” it is important to remember that the purpose of opioids is to control feelings of pain, replacing them with pleasure.
What Is the Definition of Opioid Addiction?
Since opioids can control our feelings of pain and make us feel a sense of euphoria, they have the power to become incredibly addictive. Experts agree that an opioid definition needs to include signs of addiction. Clear indications of addiction to prescription opioids are:
- Combining with alcohol or other drugs
- Using to get high
- Not following prescription instructions. When a teen does not take pain relievers in the prescribed fashion, they look for a different effect. Taking more than the dose prescribed or taking it more often are both examples of addictive behavior.
- Taking pain relievers prescribed to family or friends to get high, not to support a medical condition.
As teens are asking the question, “what are opioids, and how are they used?” it is incredibly important that we share with them that frequent misuse of prescription drugs is a sign of substance use disorder.
How Does an Opioid Definition Help Identify the Signs of Substance Use Disorder
There are so many signs associated with opioid use. For parents of teens, it is essential to have a definition of opioid addiction and understand the signs that may be present. These include:
- Lack of appetite
- Changed sleeping habits
- Unable to assume responsibilities associated with school or work
- Changing friendship
- Isolation from friends and family
- Mood swings
- Stealing money or valuables to have access to drugs
If your teen is showing signs of a substance use disorder, it is essential to do more than ask the question, “what is an opioid?” Instead, it is important to support them in understanding that it is necessary to stop using opioids so that they can live a healthy life.
Get Opioid Addiction Treatment at Destinations for Teens
When a teen develops a substance use disorder, there is only one solution: get help. At times, it may seem embarrassing to seek treatment. However, an opioid addiction treatment program will help your teen learn to overcome their disorder by teaching them how to make healthy choices. If you’re ready to get a full answer to the question, “what is an opioid?” it is time to contact Destinations for Teens. Our team of medical and mental health staff will help you to understand the dangers of opioid use. Then they can help your teen to identify their life without using substances. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to begin your teen’s journey.