According to law enforcement and healthcare personnel, abuse of painkillers is the most rapidly growing form of addiction today. That fact gives an alarming perspective to recent news that the Food and Drug Administration has given official approval to the use of OxyContin by children as young as 11.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health states that one out of every four people in this country is affected by some type of chronic pain. When those people are young children, they have to rely on their parents for assistance, causing ramifications for the entire family.
In making the announcement, the FDA noted that OxyContin has been used “off-label” to treat children for nearly 25 years. The term refers to prescribing a drug for a use not found in the FDA’s approved packaging label. While this may sound illegal, doctors are in fact free to prescribe medication for any application they deem appropriate.
The FDA’s ruling applies specifically to youths between the ages of 11 and 16, which coincides with the period when many begin experimenting with drugs. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence cites prescription painkillers Vicodin, OxyContin and Adderall as three of the top four drugs used by teens, surpassed only by marijuana.
Many healthcare providers recommend that painkiller use be a course of last resort for both children and adults. Seattle Children’s Hospital is one of the medical institutions teaching cognitive-behavior modification, such as muscle relaxation and self-hypnosis, as methods of coping with chronic pain.
Do you have a loved one in the grip of a painkiller addiction? Transitions Recovery in Miami offers personalized treatment plans for individuals of all ages along with resources such as counseling and support groups for their families. Contact us today to speak with one of the caring, professional members of our team.