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.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
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Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
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Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 56183

Reported Deaths: 2907
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10023420
Cuyahoga7571372
Hamilton5770197
Marion273038
Lucas2700302
Pickaway218841
Summit2110206
Montgomery193126
Mahoning1818231
Butler154744
Columbiana129560
Stark1091112
Lorain99767
Trumbull92565
Warren82321
Clark7659
Delaware55315
Belmont54422
Fairfield54316
Tuscarawas54110
Medina50832
Lake49218
Licking46612
Miami45531
Portage43258
Ashtabula43144
Wood41251
Geauga40042
Clermont3946
Wayne36051
Richland3325
Allen30840
Mercer2808
Greene2489
Darke24625
Erie23622
Holmes2263
Huron2112
Madison1938
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Washington13120
Putnam12715
Sandusky12714
Hardin12012
Ross1183
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton942
Monroe8817
Jefferson872
Union821
Muskingum811
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Williams692
Clinton680
Guernsey683
Lawrence680
Shelby654
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot586
Brown561
Defiance503
Athens491
Knox481
Fayette460
Highland441
Champaign391
Scioto380
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Perry321
Henry290
Adams231
Paulding230
Pike230
Jackson220
Vinton222
Gallia161
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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