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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: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
Unassigned00
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