Information for Adults, Parents & Guardians

The South Louisiana Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness aims to promote healthy choices and educate students about the dangers of opioid use. We encourage parents to utilize the resource links below and learn more about this growing epidemic.

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  Facts About Opioids

  • The number of opioid-related deaths (in Louisiana) was 150% times higher in 2017 than in 2012.

  • Statistics show that when parents talk to their kids about alcohol or drugs, they are 42% less likely to try them–and more likely to succeed in every way.******

  • In 2017, there were 415 opioid related deaths in Louisiana. To put that in context, one person died from drug overdose about every 21 hours.**

  • In 2017, Louisiana providers wrote 89.5 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons (Figure 2), compared to the average U.S. rate of 58.7 prescriptions.****

  • Every day, 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose.*****

  • In 2015, in the United States, 276,000 adolescents (12 to 17 years old) were current nonmedical users of pain relievers, with 122,000 having an addiction to prescription pain relievers.*

  • In 2015, an estimated 21,000 adolescents in the United States had used heroin in the past year, and an estimated 5,000 were current heroin users. Additionally, an estimated 6,000 adolescents had heroin a heroin use disorder in 2014.*

  • The prescribing rates for prescription opioids among adolescents and young adults in the United States nearly doubled from 1994 to 2007. *

  • Most non-medical users of prescription opioids report obtaining drugs:***

    • From a friend or relative for free

    • Bought from a friend or relative

    • Taken without asking from a friend or relative

      *American Society of Addiction Medicine: Opioid Addiction 2016 Facts and Figures
      ** Louisiana Department of Public Health
      ***National Survey on Drug Use and Health
      ****National Institute on Drug Abuse: Louisiana Opioid Summary
      *****Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      ******Greater New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition


Know the Signs

Many parents are often reluctant to believe that their children may misuse or develop an addiction to prescription opioids. But anyone who experiments with these powerful medications is at risk for negative consequences, including overdose and addiction.

Signs your child may be abusing or misusing opioids:

  • Pills or medication bottles are missing from your home

  • Taking medication in excess of how it has been prescribed

  • Abrupt changes in their finances

  • Dramatic mood changes

  • Lower grades, changes in friends, or changes in sleep or appetite

  • Loss of concern about appearance

  • Physical signs such as fatigue, confusion, weight loss, slurred speech, dizziness and changes in pupil size

SOURCE: MA DPH, Tips for Protecting Your Kids Against Addiction

How prescription drugs are misused:

  • Taking someone else’s prescription medication. Even when someone takes another person’s medication for its intended purposes (such as to relieve pain, to stay awake, or to fall asleep) it is considered misuse.

  • Taking a prescription medication in a way other than prescribed. Taking your own prescription in a way that it is not meant to be taken is also misuse. This includes taking more of the medication than prescribed or changing its form—for example, breaking or crushing a pill or capsule and then snorting the powder.

  • Taking a prescription medication to get high. Some types of prescription drugs also can produce pleasurable effects or “highs.” Taking the medication only for the purpose of getting high is considered prescription drug misuse.

  • Mixing it with other drugs. In some cases, if you mix your prescription drug with alcohol and certain other drugs, it is considered misuse and it can be dangerous.

    SOURCE: National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens



Resources for More Information