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More than a third of Montana’s 12th graders are known to have taken illicit drugs in 2015 alone.

Ten percent of senior high school students in Montana have also used prescription narcotic analgesics but not for their intended purposes. The most commonly misused prescription painkillers include Vicodin, codeine, Percocet, and Oxycontin. About a quarter of all Montana 12th graders use marijuana every month. It seems Montana’s drug treatment centers have to refocus their attention on educating the youth of the state.

However, Montana’s 125 reported drug overdose related deaths in 2014 was a welcome sign of the state’s drug addiction center facilities’ renewed efforts at curbing the rising number of drug overdose deaths on a national scale. Montana’s statistics for drug overdose deaths in 2013 was 137 for a 9 percentage point improvement in 2014.

It is for this reason that many of Montana’s government and policy makers are working ever so closely with drug rehabilitation centers and community support groups to heighten the awareness of the state’s youth. The major issue that health experts and policy makers consider as having a significant impact in the success of drug rehab programs is the effective dissemination of appropriate and factual information related to the dangers of using prescription opioid analgesics for purposes other than medical. It was observed in a variety of surveys that many youngsters do not look at prescription painkillers as naturally harmful simply because these substances are prescribed by professionals who are trusted to give only substances that work and are safe.

With this mindset, many adolescents and even young adults take prescription opioid analgesics simply because they are a lot easier to procure. What they fail to recognize is that when used incorrectly, these relatively beneficial drugs can turn deadly; hence, the alarming increase in prescription opioid analgesic overdose deaths. Unfortunately, most addiction treatment protocols will already be insufficient to save the life of the victim because of the very rapid deterioration that can occur after opioid intake. What further complicates the matter is that youngsters seem to make a mix of almost everything. Prescription opioid analgesics are often mixed with heroin for that instant effect. However, this only potentiates the already deadly effects of heroin. Adding medical opioids into the mix can definitely hasten death.

This is what Montana’s drug czars want youngsters, adolescents, and young adults to learn. They want the state’s many drug rehab and treatment facilities to step up their campaign of reaching out to the vulnerable groups in the population. School organizations and other socio civic organizations as well as non-profit non-government organizations are being tapped to help disseminate factual information on the need for a more sensible and more responsible use of prescription opioid analgesics. Education is also directed at families who are seen as the principal source of inspiration for many of these youngsters.

Drug treatment has also been made more accessible to anyone who wants to rid himself of illicit drugs and other harmful addicting substances. The use of medication assisted behavioral and cognitive therapies continue to provide the basic infrastructure for drug rehabilitation and addiction treatment.

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