Role of Opioid Education for the Youth
Opioid misuse is decreasing. For example, among high school seniors, the year past misuse of pain medication, heroine excluded, went down from a peak of 9.5 in the year 2004 to 3.4 percent in the year 2018. In the past year, the use misuse of Vicodin went down from peak of 10.5 percent in the year 2003 to a percentage of 1.7 in 2018, lastly the misuse of OxyContin has dropped from a peak rate of 5.5 percentage in the year 2005 to 2.3 percent in the year 2018. In addition, students in the 12th grade believe that it is harder to obtain opioid now than in the past. In 2010, 54% of 12th grade students believed that it was easy to access opioids as compared to 32.5% in 2018 (Hubbell & Reid, 2018). In this case this can be attributed to the awareness that has been created by educating youths about these substances and their effects towards someone. Commercials in the media also work very well in creating an awareness.
Adolescence is a critical stage of life for one to become addicted to a substance. This is due to a lot of factors that were mentioned by some students. This is a stage of self-realization and to some may be confusing and containing mixed emotions. This is due to a teenager trying to understand themselves and what they are meant to become in future, at the same time trying to keep up with the current trends as well as blending with his/her age mates. This can lead to a teenager to take the drugs to escape reality or to fit in with other teenagers who are using opioids for recreational purposes (McDONOUGH, 2016).
The brain’s reward center, matures rapidly during the years preceding adolescence. During this period, children begin to discriminate more carefully between less and more meaningful rewards, a capacity that underlies goal driven behaviors and internal motivation. As much as kids are easily rewarded, even using abstract tokens, as they get to their adolescence, they become more selective in terms of the goals they think are worth pursuing. This phenomenon gets to its peak when children get to their adolescence, at which time presentation of small and meaningless reward will result into deactivation of the brain’s reward center (Reid, Wild, & Bozarth, 2020). This means that, adolescents are developmentally conditioned to look for high stimulating behavior so as to acquire a large neurologic reward, this trait is recognizable in the risk taking behaviors that are often associated with people in this stage of life. Unlike the rewards that happen naturally, psychoactive substances trigger signaling in the reward center through the direct receptor binding (Bain & Kornetsky, 2020). Although this is unhealthy, substance use fills a developmental drive for stimulation in this particular area of the brain effectively. As one would predict, the peak ages of substance use initiation occurs during adolescence and early childhood.
At the end of the behavioral control hardware, the prefrontal cortex, that is responsible for executive functions which are crucial to decision making, this are functions such as self-monitoring, impulse control and error correction and thus this serves as a behavioral brake system, it does not mature to its full potential until the middle of the third decade of living. As a result of this, adolescents are unable and unskilled to conduct these functions and deterred by risk than the adults. In addition to this, immaturity of the prefrontal cortex during this developmental stage appear to leave the brain’s reward center more vulnerable and prone to developing the changes which might result into a neurologic disorder of addiction (Knopf, 2017).
Relatively fewer exposures result in substance use disorder symptoms among teenagers compared to adults, and also the risk of developing a substance use disorder (SUD) is in a way related with age of initiation. For example, children who are initiated into drinking alcohol before the age of 14 years are 5 times more likely to develop an addiction as compared to those that started drinking from the age of 19.this pattern is similar to one seen with both marijuana and the misuse of prescription opioid medication (Satterley & Anitescu, 2015). Indeed, delayed substance use initiation into adulthood is associated with a reduced risk of one ever developing an SUD. This is one of the reasons and importance for the government early interventions and prevention strategies that are designed to delay initiation as well as a reduced use in this group.
Psychologic vulnerability to substance use is aggravated by environmental factors, these include the availability, promotion and modeling of substance use behaviors (Bain & Kornetsky, 2020). Through science it has been said that teenagers are particularly sensitive to the influence of cultural messaging. The three most used substances by the adolescents are marijuana, alcohol and tobacco. The three choices are driven by either the availability and also cultural acceptability, this includes the perceived harm they bring. In the late 1990s, availability of prescription pain medications served as a perfect invitation to start using opioids for recreational purposes by teenagers as well as developing its addiction. The combination of the promotion of opioid medication to be safe with easy access through diverted prescription (McDONOUGH, 2016). They can be found in family medicine cabinet. Unlike heroin in the 1970s, which was induced by injection, opioid pills could be swallowed or snorted after being crushed into a powder, this further lowering the bars of invitation.
What the Professor said: “You should not interpret the findings in the Results Section! Please fix!”
Role of Opioid Education for the Youth 2
Discussion:Limitations & Implication/Conclusion
Limitations & Conclusion
Creating awareness of these substances and how they are abused has had its dark sides too. For instance through raising awareness many teenagers have gained information about the opioids and due to teenagers and young adults curiosity, they might get tempted to try them out without having considered the consequences. The TV commercials might be the best way for students finding out where and how to acquire the substance (Knopf, 2017). This has seen the media make the use of opioids for their euphoric feel more acceptable and common in people’s minds. This is opposite to what is usually the case with marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Due to them not being televised against, the society still holds them with the same perspective as they did in the past. Opioids on the other hand have grown to being more acceptable thanks to the media.
In schools it is hard for every school to talk about the subject. This is because teachers cannot control what happens outside the school compound and most students will still use their free time from school to use all these substances for their euphoric feel despite having taught against opioids in class (Bain & Kornetsky, 2020). This has been supported by just how available the opioids are and the nature of conditions they are used to treat, this is to mean that they are basic drugs and can be found in almost all chemists and can be used to ease pain which might mean a lot of different pain. This is to say that the reason for one to go and buy an opioid is common and this supports the continued usage of opioids (McDONOUGH, 2016).
Opioid abuse has become a national disaster and requires more intense methods of stopping it to the ones that are being used at the moment. This should be inclusive of teaching youths on the adverse effects that using the drug might bring to them as well as their health. The approach towards the youths too should change a little too (Drake, 2017). This is because experts should understand that they are dealing with young, creative minds with a lot of energy and this should influence their way of delivery. Finding ways that will capture youth’s attention and use it to administer the kind of learning that the youths will find most effective and can relate to. This will make their listening skills better. A lot of young lives are being wasted or even die due to addiction to opioids. This is sad and needs to be addressed with a lot of vehemence. The government should continue teaching about the substances and advising against them too. The availability of opioids needs to be cut and made a little more complicated for anyone to get the drugs with or without a prescription (Pfeiffer, 2019). The government has been really trying to work their course of eliminating the opioid abuse by youths. As it is, more and more youths have developed an addiction towards opioids. The role of opioid education in the youth is most needed now.
What the professor said: “Incomplete! You need to provide detailed explanation on all limitations and their corresponding implications. “