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According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 9,000 children have died from an opioid overdose in the last 20 years. The two major players in teenage overdoses include heroin and fentanyl.
Like adults, teenagers who get their hands on these substances don't know how easy it is to accidentally overdose. Younger children can overdose if they can access their parents' opioid medications or illegal substances.
So how can we keep kids from getting ahold of these drugs? By limiting access and giving the right treatment.
First thing's first: your child shouldn't be able to see or reach your medications. Like any other medicine, opioids need to be kept out of sight and out of reach. It might be a good idea to place them in a safe or somewhere only you can reach them.
It can be trickier to keep opioids away from your teen. Your child may be introduced to opioids outside the home, by friends, or other family members.
Teach your teen about the dangers of opioids. But also teach them about healthy methods of dealing with stress and other negative emotions. Many people often start using opioids because the "high" relieves stress.
Your child may suffer from opioid addiction because you used opioids during your pregnancy. Many pregnant women are too afraid to seek treatment for their addiction because they're worried the opiate withdrawal symptoms could hurt their baby.
Teenagers may also be afraid to seek treatment because they're afraid of the opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Unlike abstinence-based, non-medical treatments for addiction, methadone treatment programs treat both your addiction and your withdrawal symptoms. The methadone blocks the pain receptors and opioid receptors of the brain.
Methadone has been the most effective treatment for opioid and heroin addiction for over 50 years. In just March 2011, up to 270,000 people were being treated with methadone prescriptions.
Under a doctor's surveillance, methadone is mild enough to treat pregnant mothers suffering from addiction. Children and babies suffering from opiate withdrawal symptoms can also be treated with methadone.
It's crucial not only to prevent opioid addiction but also to treat it. Methadone centers in Chicago can help you or your child manage and recover from opioid addiction.
To learn more about how methadone treatments work and how they can help fight back against opiate withdrawal symptoms and substance cravings, contact Sundance Methadone Treatment Center today.