Opioid crisis affects teenagers

Northeast Indiana has reached record numbers of opioid overdoses this year. Now the crisis is affecting people ages 11 to 18.

Posted: Oct 20, 2017 9:22 PM
Updated: Oct 20, 2017 9:22 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Northeast Indiana has reached record numbers of opioid overdoses this year. Now the crisis is affecting people ages 11 to 18. 

"I think so many of these kids become addicted to these medications quite innocently. They start on them for legitimate reasons, and they just have a genetic predisposition to becoming addicted, or maybe they have an underling anxiety that this is addressing partially," said Dr. Deborah McMahan, the health commissioner. 

Dr. McMahan warned parents not to leave medications laying around the house, and if your child has been prescribed the medication, monitor their use, and talk to them about the possibility of addiction. 

"I think they need the right information, and they need a standard set for their family by their parents," McMahan said. 

Officials said there are signs your teen could be using drugs, such as pinpoint pupils, and paranoia. If you have doubts, they recommend doing a thorough search in their room. 

"Certainly one thing we'll do is try to get them to the hospital for treatment. We'll reach out to treatment facilities and try to get those parents and that child connected to the treatment facilities," said Captain Kevin Hunter of the Fort Wayne Police Department. 

It's never too early to talk about drugs. Some parents started having the conversation as early as age four. 

"I explained to them the real danger is once you get started, you never know what kind of road you're going to go down. So the best avenue for them is to not start to begin with," said John Rigdon. 

Andrea Schroeder said she's changed how she talks to her family about drugs. 

"It's something that I'm very open and honest about. It's kind of like they were sort of thrown into it. I didn't really talk about it with my two older daughters too much. I guess maybe I was naive," Schroeder said. 

After losing her daughter, Miriah, to an overdose last year, she sad her nine and 14-year-old are well educated on the topic. 

"Don't think it can't happen to your child, because I thought that for a long time," Schroeder said. 

Resources are available in the community for parents in need. 

For more information on teens and opioids, click here

For resources from McMillen Health, click here

 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1474289

Reported Deaths: 20385
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2021122504
Lake996361476
Allen909861007
Hamilton71271540
St. Joseph63433750
Elkhart48401623
Vanderburgh46765523
Tippecanoe42550330
Johnson37591519
Hendricks35518458
Porter34097464
Madison28261531
Clark25349321
Vigo25076343
LaPorte23079307
Monroe22397244
Howard21556372
Delaware21108365
Hancock18494218
Bartholomew17598212
Kosciusko17580201
Warrick16259212
Wayne15851300
Floyd15521252
Grant14992296
Morgan14070230
Boone13268136
Noble11509140
Dearborn11468112
Henry11427201
Shelby11276150
Marshall11115167
Dubois10954152
Jackson10280104
Cass10012142
DeKalb10005129
Lawrence9973220
Huntington9893139
Gibson9236125
Montgomery9105140
Knox8839124
Harrison8754111
Whitley850471
Steuben8403103
Jasper8125114
Putnam800497
Clinton800194
Miami7961133
Jefferson7663124
Wabash7651139
Ripley7053111
Adams6555101
Daviess6332127
Scott632686
White606581
Greene5958111
Clay592773
Decatur5843118
Wells5831120
Jennings578976
Fayette5687121
Posey535146
LaGrange517096
Randolph4972129
Washington487068
Owen484998
Fountain469079
Spencer441856
Starke435686
Sullivan433465
Fulton428290
Orange415182
Jay406464
Rush398737
Carroll374749
Franklin371250
Perry368755
Vermillion348762
Pike311345
Tipton309974
Parke308938
Pulaski269173
Blackford269055
Newton229559
Brown223654
Benton214821
Crawford213031
Switzerland192414
Martin184622
Warren170820
Union164419
Ohio120616
Unassigned0742

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2418722

Reported Deaths: 31245
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2613932065
Cuyahoga2576953018
Hamilton1679311714
Montgomery1114691604
Summit1070311391
Lucas899971160
Butler79406942
Stark750951400
Lorain63061792
Warren50411475
Mahoning49909915
Lake46923605
Clermont44079429
Delaware39138212
Trumbull38726755
Medina37708419
Licking37221408
Fairfield34115334
Greene32452422
Portage31473360
Clark30496445
Richland28493423
Wood27867297
Allen24603395
Miami23075395
Muskingum22525245
Columbiana22202403
Wayne21380356
Tuscarawas18940427
Erie18137222
Ashtabula17989342
Marion17633232
Scioto16712207
Ross16314252
Pickaway15631178
Hancock15407228
Geauga15281223
Lawrence13931186
Huron13460182
Union1340984
Belmont13369247
Jefferson12969258
Sandusky12862199
Athens11991106
Knox11595198
Seneca11540200
Ashland10830178
Darke10786198
Washington10644168
Auglaize10247142
Crawford9949175
Shelby9839157
Brown9507140
Fulton9310150
Guernsey9179117
Defiance9116135
Highland9100148
Logan9035142
Clinton8810127
Mercer8709111
Madison8654106
Preble8069162
Williams7937135
Putnam7780135
Ottawa7675121
Champaign7606112
Jackson7409117
Perry720798
Coshocton7076136
Morrow700182
Fayette670987
Hardin6251128
Pike621786
Gallia598191
Adams5844124
Van Wert5824121
Henry570793
Hocking5568104
Carroll4853100
Wyandot485290
Holmes4760161
Paulding404464
Meigs377473
Monroe300268
Noble281551
Harrison281361
Morgan278148
Vinton240845
Unassigned08
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