The opioid epidemic in the United States has been crippling and young adults are at a higher risk than any other age group.
The Ohio State University found in a study that one in 10 graduates had used prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons and 68 percent of the same respondents said they intentionally misused them.
Unfortunately, those who misuse opioid painkillers tend to move onto heroin due to its cheaper price. A recent study, by Talbott Recovery, links the two together by finding three out of four new heroin users previously misused painkillers prior to heroin.
Prevention and wellness programs and campus resources can go a long way in aiding those struggling with opioid abuse as well as preventing those at risk from developing an addiction. The biggest focus for abusers should be maintaining sobriety, which can often be very difficult on campus due to the commonplace of alcohol and drug use.
Opioid abuse can manifest in many different ways, but here are 5 common warning signs for those struggling:
- Unfocused or scattered thoughts or actions
- Stops attending classes
- Gains or loses weight in a short amount of time
- Rejects their friends or social groups
- Makes a lot of excuses or lies about what they’re doing
Above all, if you think someone may be struggling with an opioid addiction, it’s important to support them rather than judging them. Encourage opioid addicts to seek out help and make sure to support them in that.
If you’re looking for more resources to combat the opioid epidemic, the SafeColleges Training System offers a Not Anymore Course Prescription: Addiction—Opioids which provides personal insights and advice from 12 recovering student addicts on how to avoid and deal with opioid abuse on campus.
For people who think they have a prescription drug abuse problem, please contact 1-800-662-HELP to find treatment resources.