Opioid addiction numbers among the teen population are high, and the number of overdose deaths are climbing.
In the United States, 2500 young people (12 to 17) a day become first-time abusers of prescription pain pills. Too many of these teens will become overdose death statistics. Survey results show that nearly half of teens experimenting with drugs believe that prescription medications out of their home’s medicine cabinets are safer than illegal street drugs.
Overdose death from drugs is reaching staggering numbers. In his State of the Union address, President Trump told the nation that 64,000 Americans died of drug overdose in 2016. The majority of the overdose deaths (more than sixty-percent) were linked to opioids, which includes heroin and fentanyl in addition to prescription painkillers. Overdose death most commonly occur from opioids, stimulants, and sedatives.
Opioid overdose symptoms include respiratory depression, which can cause breathing to cease. A person in opioid overdose can also choke to death on their own vomit. Stimulant overdose symptoms can include seizures and erratic and violent behavior. The first sign of sedative overdose is vomiting and dizziness, and without emergency treatment coma, stroke, and heart attack are all possible.
It’s an unfortunate state of affairs when high school campuses have had students go into overdose symptoms while at school, and usually all the nurse’s office can do is call 911 and hope they arrive in time to save the young person’s life. Due to the opioid crisis, many high schools across the country are now getting some staff certified to administer Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride). When used as a nasal spray, Narcan can revive the student who has stopped breathing. You should find out if your local high schools have this safety measure in place.
Drug Overdose Statistics
The drug overdose statistics for the more than 64,000 in 2016 include the following:
- 2016 had the greatest increase in fentanyl-related overdoses with 20,000 deaths.
- Teens abusing prescription drugs are more likely to use alcohol, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, and cocaine than those who don’t.
- More people are killed by overdoses than by car accidents or guns.
- Everyday, 105 people die of drug overdose.
- A person can overdose and die the very first time they use drugs.
- Taking more than one drug at a time increases the risk for overdose.
- Drinking alcohol while taking drugs often results in overdose.
- Mixing alcohol with prescription pain pills can stop a person’s ability to breath.
- The public takes notice when a celebrity dies of an overdose, but every year tens of thousands of families quietly lose their loved ones to this terrible crisis.
- One in four overdose deaths occur in the hospital where patient is taken for treatment too late.
Drug Overdose Treatment
There is drug overdose treatment available if the person can receive medical attention quickly. Narcan (naloxone) is used to get people started breathing again when they have overdosed on opioids which suppress the respiratory system. Life-saving treatment include airway and oxygen management. If body temperature goes too high, rapid cooling will be applied. Benzodiazepines are used to try and control seizures.
Stimulant overdose treatment includes intravenous fluids for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in milder cases. The treatment for sedative overdose will involve stomach pumping, activated charcoal, medications to flush drugs, intravenous fluids to hydrate, dialysis to clean blood, respirator when breathing is impaired, and heart stabilizing medications. This risk of overdose death among teens is high and why today’s high schools are recognizing the need to be prepared to save a student’s life if it happens on campus.
If you suspect your teen or any other family member is abusing drugs, it is crucial that you realize one bad dose could place him or her in an overdose medical emergency. Don’t wait for that to happen. Call WhiteSands Treatment Centers in Tampa and Fort Myers FL to find out what you can do for the one you love.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.