Is Suboxone Rehab Safe for Children and Teens?
It is unfortunate that in today’s society there are children as young as 12 addicted to drugs like opiates. Although an exact count is difficult to compile, a large percentage of prescription opiate users are teenagers. In the past, drug treatment for children and teens consisted of physical detoxification and counseling.
Suboxone is a very popular treatment for opiate addiction. It acts as both an opiate inhibitor and an opiate replacement drug. It is an extremely powerful drug with a long list of side effects and precautions.
Suboxone and Children
Suboxone is not approved for use in children under 16. Due to its interference with opioid receptors in the brain, Suboxone causes severe respiratory distress in children. This is the equivalent to an overdose reaction to the drugs. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a child that accidently ingests Suboxone should be taken to the hospital immediately and treated for Suboxone poisoning.
Suboxone also may affect the formation of new pathways in the brain. Not only is Suboxone physically dangerous to children, it can change the natural way these pathways are formed. It is extremely important to keep Suboxone and its derivatives away from children under the age of 16.
Suboxone and Teens
Suboxone is approved for teens over the age of 16 under very specific circumstances. Although it is not as dangerous to teens as it is to children, it still should be taken with caution. The guidelines for giving Suboxone to teens over the age of 16 are:
- The teen has to be opioid or opiate dependent
- The teen has to be 16 years old or older
- The teen has to have tried to get off opiates and failed at least twice
- The teen has to meet all of the criteria for opiate or opioid dependence for at least one year
These are the only criteria which qualify teens for Suboxone treatment. Most people who meet the criteria do well on Suboxone treatment as long as they are closely monitored and there is strict adherence to the treatment protocols.
Advantages of Using Suboxone in Teens
Most teens respond well to Suboxone treatment. The advantages of using Suboxone in teens are:
- relief of withdrawal symptoms
- ability to continue with school and other activities
- less invasive than other treatment methods
- shorter detoxification duration when Suboxone is used correctly
Unfortunately, teens have to follow the protocol closely. Some teens do not follow the treatment protocol and become addicted to Suboxone. This addiction requires them to taper off Suboxone and another treatment must be tried if the teen relapses into opiate use.
Suboxone is not typically used in teens unless everything else is tried. Most doctors try other less toxic treatments before they try Suboxone. For more information on teen Suboxone treatment or the dangers of Suboxone to children, call us at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) . We can provide you with information on treatment centers as well as doctors.