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Signs Your Teen Might Have an Opioid Addiction


With opioid addiction so prevalent in the United States, you may worry about your teenager’s well-being. The medical community and the government are working on solutions to reduce opioid addiction and overdose. However, as we work against the opioid crisis, teenagers still face a risk of opioid use disorder. If you think your teenage child has an addiction to opioids, you can help them. Learn more about opioid addiction in teens and what to do if your child develops opioid use disorder.

Common Addiction Signs for Teenagers

Your teenager may show the following warning signs if they have an opioid addiction:

  • Changes in friend groups: A teen with an opioid addiction may begin to hang out with new friends for unexplained reasons. These changes in their social circle can happen suddenly or gradually.
  • Isolation: Some teenagers with opioid addiction isolate themselves from family members. They may stay home during family activities or communicate less with their loved ones.
  • Difficulty communicating: Opioid use can also affect the way a teenager participates in social interaction. They may begin to talk more or less frequently or have slurred speech.
  • Lack of motivation: When a teenager has an opioid addiction, they might have less motivation in everyday life. Apathy, low productivity and poor morale can indicate opioid use in a teen.
  • Aggressive behavior: In some cases, opioid addiction can cause a teenager to become more aggressive than usual. They might make threats, become irritable or get violent.
  • Uncharacteristic disobedience: Opioid addiction can result in a teenager uncharacteristically misbehaving. A teen with an opioid addiction may suddenly skip school, tell lies or steal.
  • Changes in appearance: Certain teenagers who become addicted to opioids neglect their personal appearance. These teenagers may pay less attention to hygiene and wear wrinkled or dirty clothes.
  • Lower energy levels: The effects of opioids can result in a teenager feeling chronic fatigue. This tiredness might come from the opioids themselves or have a link to poor eating habits.
  • Evidence of drug paraphernalia: Paraphernalia such as needles, pipes and lighters could also indicate an opioid addiction. Finding these items in your teen’s possession could mean that they or someone they know uses opioids.

These signs do not always mean that a teenager has an opioid addiction. They may also indicate another emotional issue or mental illness. Communicating with your child can help you find the source of these issues so that you can educate yourself and get them the help that they need.

How to Get Help for Your Teenager With an Opioid Addiction

If you think your teenager has opioid use disorder, you can take them to a specialist who screens teenagers for addiction. While BAART Programs does not provide treatment to patients under 18, you can find a doctor through SAMHSA. Once you discover a provider, they can recommend the right course of treatment for your teen. Opioid addiction treatment can help your child gain back control of their life.

Learn More About Opioid Addiction From BAART Programs

The BAART Programs blog provides information on topics related to opioids, addiction and recovery. For more information about these subjects, browse our blog posts.

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