How to tell my kid has opioid addiction

How to Tell If Your Kid has an Opioid Addiction

What might be keeping you up at night is the fear that things have gotten out of control. You wonder, “Is it drugs? Is it an opioid addiction?” Sometimes how it begins is a gnawing feeling that something isn’t right. You may notice a change in mood or attitude or have a sense that things are off. Although opioid addiction is unfortunately common, you need to know the facts and your options moving forward. 


As parents, our job is never done. Whether the kids are still in the house or they’ve flown from the coop, it’s good to pay attention to their well-being and their potential for developing an opioid addiction. In 2018, Massachusetts lost nearly 2,000 people to opioid-related overdoses.

Over 50% of those deaths came from the 25-44 age group. 


Signs of Opioid Use

At first, opioid use might be benign. Most opioid addictions begin as simple prescriptions to deal with chronic pain or provide relief after an injury. If you suspect your child is using opioids, there are signs to look for if you think they might be abusing the drug.

Here are some signs of opioid abuse:

  • Drowsiness
  • Acute calmness or lethargy
  • Red or flushed face and neck
  • Slurred speech
  • Small pupils
  • Drooping eyes


These signs can also be signs of stress or other mental concerns, so it’s not necessarily a clear sign of opioid abuse. However, when coupled with other behavioral concerns, opioid use might be more likely. 

Here are some behavioral signs that your child might be abusing opioids:

  • Financial problems
  • Work or school problems
  • Spending more time isolated or with new friends who they don’t want you to know
  • Loss of love for hobbies or responsibilities
  • Lack of focus and difficulty concentrating

If one or more of these behavioral or physical signs occur, then there may be cause for concern.


Accepting the Truth About Their Opioid Addiction

For the sake of your relationship with your child, it’s crucial that you only make assumptions based on evidence. Accusing someone of drug abuse when they are perfectly healthy can cause damage to your relationship with your child.


However, some parents who see all the telltale signs of opioid abuse have trouble accepting that their child might have a drug problem, let alone an opioid addiction. This process might be hard on you, too. Drug abuse often affects an entire family. Parents blame themselves, or they have trouble acknowledging the addiction because of what it means about their parenting. 


Addiction is a disease. Several factors contribute to it, like genetics and the environment in which a child grew up. But it would help if you remembered that these substances are highly addictive.


Many people become addicted to opioids because, even when used as prescribed, opioids are hard to let go of. Addiction should be less about finding blame and more about finding the resources and support you’ll need, as a family, to fight it.


If You Need Help

At Washburn House, we have seen opioid addiction affect many families. But we have also seen how recovery can bring families back together, strengthen the bonds between parents and children, and that healing can give those who have suffered from addiction a safe and healthy life.

If your child needs help, call us today at 855.298.3104.

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