Many young teens start out experimenting with opiates that they obtained from their own medicine cabinets. Many parents and grandparents have left over painkillers in their homes which are easily accessible by curious teens. Perhaps they heard about them in school, or talked about them at a party with friends. It's possible your child may have taken one from a friend who found some in their own home.
Recreational use of opiates may start out innocently as it usually does for most people. They are offered a pill of some sort from a friend and try it. The initial feeling of euphoria that the opiates provide are generally liked by a majority of people. But not all people enjoy them. If you are someone who gets an upset stomach from opiates or do not like the feeling that they give, do not write this off as them being harmless. I've spoken with parents who have told me that they don't understand why their children abuse opiates. They themselves were prescribed them, and it made them sick so they just left them in their medicine cabinet. I often tell parents that opiates react differently for all people. Some can take them and stop with no problem. Some people get sick, while other's enjoy the euphoria they give. When I talk with parents I tell them to lock the medication up in their house (in a safe), or dispose of them at a pharmacy, police station or drop off center.
When teens experiment with opiates and take a pill here and there, many think it won't hurt them in the long run. What starts out as a once a week "reward" can quickly snowball into a serious addiction problem. What happens with most users is they get the initial taste of opiates in their brain. When you take an opiate, your brain reaches a new peak of euphoria which is rarely felt without drugs or medication. In some users this sparks a new plateau of pleasure and euphoria that they enjoy and want more of.
When this new level of pleasure is felt in the brain, most users begin the search to feel it again. Humans are animals of pleasure and we seek it every second of every day of our lives. When you know there is a pill out there than can make you feel amazing, chances are you are going to want to use it again and again. This is how addiction starts. You begin to take the opiates more frequently and before you know it your body is dependent on them. What started out innocently enough has quickly become a problem you never expected. What's even worse is that tolerance builds quickly making the user want more which only increases addiction and makes withdrawals worse.
The rate of opiate use in young teens has skyrocketed over the past 10 years. If you were to ask one of these teens what withdrawals are, most would have no idea. The fact that they are unaware of the consequences of “trying” opiates most often leads to them being more open to trying them again. Before they realize it, they do not have the means to get more of the opiates and begin to feel sick. They have no idea why they are sick untill it's too late. They feel the withdrawals symptoms and seek more opiates to relieve these symptoms which begins a vicious cycle of addiction.
Educate your children about prescription painkillers. Explain to them that with any high they feel, they will feel an even greater low. That low will come with symptoms that feel like the flu but stronger which also includes depression, anxiety, and low enthusiasm. It only takes one pill to get addicted in my eyes. That first pill leads you to another and another. Get educated, there is no such thing as a recreational opiate user.