Alabama Statistics about Opioids:
- The number of overdose deaths(OD) climbed by 82% from 2006 to 2014 (and this is with little consistency around ER’s not reporting on OD deaths)
- In 2016, there were 756 drug-related deaths in Alabama, the majority of which were opioid related
- In 2016, Alabama doctors wrote 121 prescriptions per every 100 persons, which is equivalent to 1.2 prescriptions for every man, woman and child in our state.
- Governor Kay Ivey established the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council in 2017. The Council is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan to abate the Opioid crisis in Alabama.
Opioid Abuse among Teens:
- 23% of students who had used opioids less than 40 times reported using heroin
- 7% of those who use heroin admitted to also having used prescription opioids non-medically
- Half the teenage Medicaid patients in Alabama prescribed opioids in 2016 got them from dentists or oral surgeons
- About 1 in 6 patients between age 13-18 on Medicaid received an opioid from a provider in 2016
Common Signs of Opioid Misuse in Teens:
- Negative changes in grades
- Skipping classes or school
- Dropping longtime friends
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Changes in appearance
- Changes in general behavior, including sleeping and eating habits
Things parents can do to help teens avoid risks:
- Take inventory of prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs you have at home. Properly destroy unused or outdated medicine
- Monitor and safeguard any and all prescription drugs that a child is currently taking.
- Role model care and careful use (not misuse) of any and all prescription drugs you use. Use opportunity to educate.
- Openly discuss the risks of use and the importance of medical supervision and proper disposal.
- Understand motives behind signs of use or misuse (i.e. weight loss, pain, grades) and speak compassionately first.
- Be honest (come clean) if your child challenges your own use.
- Discuss how avoidance of addictive substances is part of health consciousness
-Information provide by Addiction Prevention Coalition
100 Union Hill Drive, Suite 150
Birmingham, AL 35209