Kids are not immune to addiction.  It’s quite the opposite.  They are vulnerable and more emotionally unstable these days than ever, and for for many reasons – all having to do with the breakdown of the traditional family structure and society.  There is also a great deal of stress from the outbreak of school shootings.  They go to school not knowing what will happen, when it should be a place of learning and safety.  Times have changed.  When they get home, they come home to hand held devices, gaming on their computers, no parent at home, no dad or no mom, television as their babysitter, etc, etc, etc.  Many face parental addiction as well, so the quality of parenting isn’t even there.

So, how do kids get started on opioids?

  • They acquire them from a doctor’s legitimate prescription, as doctors are handing out opioids like candy. They get the prescriptions due to pain from dental surgery or serious sports injuries. A 2017 study found most teens who misuse prescription
    opioids first received the medicine from a doctor. Some teens and young adults believe that because an opioid is prescribed by a doctor, it must mean it’s safe.  That couldn’t be further from the truth!
  • Kids quickly feel as though the initial euphoria takes away their problems.  they are dealing with frustration, brokenness, family dissolution, emptiness, hopelessness and despair, so that are desperate to try anything to get away from all of those things.
  • They steal from parents, friends and family’s medicine cabinet that isn’t locked. Two-thirds of teens who report misuse of prescription medicine
    are getting it from friends, family and acquaintances, often taking it directly from household medicine cabinets.
  • They participate in getting high recreationally
  • Opioids are readily available. Some young people share prescription medicines among themselves— handing out or selling their own pills or those they’ve acquired or stolen.

It should be noted that More than half of young people who inject heroin start by using
prescription drugs.


Teen Challenge was created to help both teens and adults.  We, at VRM, are Certified Teen Challenge teachers and administer their world famous program online – by phone and video conferencing. Check us out!