What’s Behind California’s Fentanyl Teen Overdose Crisis?
In 2021, there was a reported 6,843 deaths related to overdoses in California. With that being said, we must acknowledge this is an epidemic affecting not only adults, but teens as well.
Understanding the facts behind teen overdoses is crucial because it’s the only way to move forward with finding a solution and reducing the number significantly.
If you want to know more about teen overdoses and ways to prevent them, continue reading now and join the fight against drug abuse sweeping the country.
Why Do Teens Use Drugs?
Before we get into solutions and ways that California is going to fight against youth overdoses, we need to address the reasons teens begin to use in the first place. The most common reasons that teens begin using drugs include the following:
- Peer pressure
- A way to escape from reality
- Feel the need to experiment
- Want to feel like an adult
Peer pressure is something that plagues teens as they’re in their early adulthood. They are growing up, and at this age, they want to fit in with their peers and not be singled out for not fitting in.
While things shouldn’t be like this, the truth is some teens will do whatever it takes to fit in with those around them. Even if that means doing something they thought they would never do, which means trying and experimenting with drugs.
They may see other teens doing drugs and decide that if they want to be seen as one of the “cool kids,” they should do it too. Another reason teens begin to use drugs is that they want to feel like adults.
This could be due to living in an environment where drugs are present. It could also be due to seeing family members struggle with drug abuse, leading a teen to assume that drug usage is normal, leading them to start trying it themselves.
The last reason we will touch on is the need to experiment. Everything around kids, from the music they listen to and the things they see on television, normalized drug use.
This could make them curious about why it’s so prevalent and cause them to experiment with drug usage.
Signs of Teen Drug Abuse?
If you suspect your teen is using drugs, there are some signs you should be looking for. The first of many signs is your teen begins to lose interest in activities they used to participate in and enjoy regularly.
This could mean withdrawing from social clubs they’re involved in academically or sports teams they’ve been on over the years. Another sign is that your teen is sleeping more than they usually do.
For example, you might find them sleeping longer during the day, as if they’ve not been to sleep the previous night. Increased drowsiness is a side effect of using certain drugs.
A change in your teen’s friend group is another sign. Much like withdrawing from activities and hobbies they used to enjoy, you’ll notice that the people they hang out with may also change.
They’ll likely begin hanging out with other teens that do the same things they’re beginning to do.
How to Help Your Teen With Drug Use?
If you’re looking for ways to help your teen if they’re dealing with drug abuse, the first step is to keep the lines of communication clear and open. They should understand they can come to you about anything and confide in you even if they know what they’re doing is something that will disappoint you.
It could also help to fill your teen in on the consequences of ongoing drug abuse. For example, let them know what can happen legally, physically, and mentally when you use drugs in general and at such a young age.
If you or another adult in your home has prescription medication, ensure you keep the medications in a secure location. If you’re unable to keep the medication locked away, you need to do what it takes to monitor it.
This means taking an ongoing inventory of your medication and speaking to your teen if you notice the medication is missing. Lastly, get your child help if the preventative measures and strategies you’ve been using aren’t working.
When you check them into a rehab facility, the professionals there are equipped to handle the issues they’re facing and teach them the methods and strategies they need to use to cope with the triggers that led them to begin using drugs.
What is California Doing About Teen Fentanyl Overdose Rates?
The first thing California lawmakers have called for is for the education system to increase the amount of education they provide to students surrounding fentanyl and opioid use. For some teens, being informed about what can happen to them when you use drugs is enough to deter them from starting or continuing use.
This also serves as a point where education professionals can intervene and help teens currently struggling to speak with their parents about what’s happening.
Legislatures are also deciding that they will impose stricter consequences for dealers providing fentanyl to teens, which could lead to overdoses. Many rehabilitation centers are also creating programs specifically for teens.
This is to ensure they find themselves in a treatment facility surrounded by others their age that are going through the same struggles. It can help them find their age to identify with and work through their struggles because they’ve been through some of the same situations.
Teen Overdose & How It’s Being Handled
When it comes to teen overdose, everyone must get on board and do what it takes to provide the support and help that teens need. It starts with a conversation and getting teens help from certified rehabs equipped to handle the crisis.
Is your teen ready to take the first step in their recovery? Contact Apex Recovery and let us help you get your teen back on the right track.