In recent months, teens have been overdosing in unprecedented numbers on a little-known drug called Opana. Parents are baffled. Few even knew what the drug was or how dangerous it was, much less that their teen was experimenting with the pills. The result has been a wakeup call to parents and teens across the country.
Teen Opana Abuse is on the Rise
Opana – or oxymorphone – is similar to OxyContin and morphine in its chemical makeup and in how it affects its users. Teens often find the pills in their parents’ medicine cabinets and appropriate them for their recreational use. The mistaken belief that a medical prescription is inherently safe. If parents find Opana in their teens’ possession without a prescription it’s time to have an open conversation. Talk about the harmful dangers associated with it, and attempt to eliminate their consumption and access to the drug.
Why Teens Abuse Opana
The reason why teens abuse prescription drugs like Opana is largely about convenience. Many find the drug at home or have it offered to them by friends. It’s easy to hide because it’s small and has no odor, plus teens can ingest it quickly and easily without calling attention to themselves. The belief that the prescription drugs are inherently safe can lead to abusive uses. For example, many teens think that it isn’t a big deal to combine Opana with other drugs or alcohol, one of the most common recipes for Opana overdose. Many also abuse the extended-release Opana tablets by crushing. Then they snort or swallow the drug, providing a larger rush.
How to Identify Opana Abuse and Addiction in Your Teen
Identifying the signs of Opana abuse and addiction in your teen means looking for the symptoms. They are similar to that of any prescription painkiller addiction. You may notice some of the side effects that come with Opana use or withdrawal symptoms that mimic the flu when your teen runs out of the drug. Other signs of drug addiction in teens include:
- Secretive behavior. Few teens are forthcoming with their parents. Those who are using drugs become irate when questioned.
- Changes in friends. Teens who are using Opana and other prescription drugs need buddies to do it with or to get them the pills. If their choice in friends seems to be changing or are less social chances are that this is a sign of addiction and drug abuse.
- Changes in appearance. Teens who are using drugs are generally pretty into it. They may begin to look the part, dressing in a more unkempt fashion and choosing clothes that highlight drug abuse.
- New lingo in texts and conversations. If you are monitoring your teen’s texts, emails, and phone conversation, you may notice that your son or daughter is using slang. It is often referred to as “blues,” “pinks,” “OM,” “The O Bomb,” “pink ladies,” or “stop signs”.
- How Parents Can Help Teens Fight Opana Abuse and Addiction
The ideal way to support your child is to seek professional support in a treatment program. For teens who are at the abuse stage, an outpatient program may be sufficient. For those who have a physical dependence upon the drug or psychological cravings, an inpatient treatment might be best.
If you need support, please feel free to contact our professional team. We are here to help.