Inside Denmark’s opioid crisis: Teens as young as 12 hooked on tramadol, ‘oxy’ and other painkillers

When Marcus tried out “oxy” – brief for oxycodone – for the first time at age 15, he was hooked by the emotion of euphoria it brought him.

4 years afterwards, he was deep in habit. He was intoxicated regardless of whether he was at faculty talking to his teachers, or taking part in online video game titles with his friends.

Oxycodone is a kind of opioid, a team of substances extracted from the opium poppy that features heroin and morphine.

These are normally approved as potent painkillers, but their comforting outcome and the short-term but extreme hurry of very well-being they carry can quickly cause addiction.

Owing to their strong sedating outcome, they can also appreciably sluggish down respiration and induce suffocation.

When Marcus could not get the tablets, he knowledgeable withdrawal signs or symptoms this kind of as abdomen ache and uncontrollable shaking.

“It was truly unbearable. I felt seriously lousy and could not imagine of everything else,” he claimed.

Many thanks to the aid of his instructor and mates, the 19-calendar year-outdated is now likely by habit treatment options.

Marcus is surely not the only teenager in Denmark to get caught in the quicksand of opioids.

Experts say they are viewing extra young people across the region having painkillers and producing an dependancy.

“This is major,” mentioned Christina Ekmann, a Danish habit remedy specialist at a youth dependancy centre in the town of Greve, southwest of Copenhagen.

She stated six of the 20 teenagers enrolled in the facility had been there mainly because of their dependancy to opioid painkillers, specifically tramadol.

“Let’s say they have 4 close friends, then instantly we’re up to 20-30 young people using them. And which is just the kinds we know about,” Ekmann said in an interview with Danish broadcaster Television2.

In accordance to Danish experiences very last calendar year, the difficulty was even prevalent among the young children as youthful as 12 in the country’s western municipalities.

They obtain opioid drugs both immediately on the avenue, or as a result of social media this kind of as Snapchat and Tiktok.

Coping with teenage panic

Authorities say much more youths in Denmark are abusing opioids since they take the drugs both of those to get significant and to cope with panic.

“A huge amount of experiments show that a lot of youthful men and women are sad, are less than pressure and do not truly feel fantastic enough. For some of them, it can soothe those people feelings,” Torben Vangsted, an addiction expert at the Odense Drug Centre, advised Television 2.

Industry experts imagine that what has served make opioids so well-liked is that young Danes do not take into consideration them as dangerous medicine, but somewhat as medicine one can get from a health practitioner.

These can be “good ladies” you would not suspect would ever get medicine, and who by themselves truly feel that using drugs doesn’t make them addicts, explained Ekmann.

But experts alert that tolerance to opioids can appear rapidly, that means bigger and bigger doses are desired for the medications to create the exact impact.

“The extra you get of it, the larger the challenge when you want to quit or cannot get hold of it. It causes stress and restlessness – a lot of of the matters you took it for in the first place,” said Vangsted.

Marcus, who hopes his story can aid at least a single particular person with drug habit to search for enable, agrees.

“I was asleep most of the working day for the reason that it was calming me down so considerably, and if I wasn’t lying down intoxicated, I was getting withdrawal symptoms,” he claimed.

“It is not just pleasurable and video games, it is a significantly addictive drug, and it can truly wreck your lifetime really promptly – monetarily, and, yeah, also bodily”.

Gurus are now urging dad and mom to pay back more notice to their children if they display abnormal behaviour.

“It is generally challenging to focus, and it also signifies that you all of sudden neglect appointments,” said For every Bjørn Føge Jensen, a senior medical professional at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen’s most significant public hospital.

“Most likely you are battling to hold up with university, perhaps you simply call in ill. All of a unexpected, you stop up in a place the place you do not want to be”.

For extra on this tale, check out the movie in the media participant previously mentioned.