Youth and Addiction — the Staggering Reality
In lieu of our soon to be opened youth addiction treatment centre, we find it important to highlight how addiction effects young people and why addiction treatment for youngsters is pivotal in reducing the impact of addiction on societies. Addiction amongst youth causes devastating consequences within families and societies worldwide, one of which is the tragic loss of young life due to drug overdoses. Recently in the United States there has been a dramatic increase in the number of young people who die from overdoses — deaths that could be prevented. In the past decade the overdose death rate has more than doubled among people aged 12-25, and some pockets of America have seen three and four fold increases in the number of overdose deaths. Epidemic rates of prescription opiate abuse, and subsequently heroin use, amongst young people are largely responsible for the rise in these tragic losses. It was prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin that contributed to over half of all overdose deaths in 2013 according to the Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works report. While all too common, overdose deaths are not the only problematic outcome of adolescent drug abuse. Drug and alcohol use are also amongst the leading causes of youth crime, as well as a leading factor in suicide and homicide amongst young people. The risk for developing an addiction is exceptionally high during the adolescent and young adult years, and worldwide families and communities are suffering because of addiction’s widespread impact.