Heroin and Teens: Why Parents Need to Talk About It
That’s the way it usually starts. One of the biggest misconceptions of heroin addicts, especially with teens and young people is that they are from bad neighborhoods, possibly homeless, and typically don’t have families that care for them.
According to the latest studies, heroin use is reaching epidemic proportions, moving away from the inner-city and into the suburbs, bringing along its deadly consequences.
Parents can sometimes be late to the game when they finally wake-up to admitting their child has a problem. Heroin addiction is deadly. Heroin addiction is growing and heroin is becoming more and more available to your teenagers. It’s cheaper, not only financially – but a cheap high too.
Drug use and abuse is not what it was when you were in school or in college. If you continue to tell yourself that, it’s a mistake that you may regret. This is not about creating fear into parents, but it’s about educating you. Dealers on the street don’t want you to understand this – however knowing what is going to be available to your teen can help you talk to them about the risks and how things have changed since the 60’s and 70’s.
So what do they consider the gateway to heroin?
According to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin. Some individuals reported taking up heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription opioids.
In March 2015 another study was released revealing the death rate related to heroin overdose among young white men (as young as 18 years old) was the highest in the Midwest.
Back in 2010 ABC News 20/20 ran a series on The New Faces of Heroin (watch the 8 minute part-one segment below). It was extremely compelling. If you believe that it can’t happen in your family, think again. No one is immune. Drug dealers don’t discriminate. As a matter of fact, your teen may be the perfect catch for them. Social media has added a new platform for them to connect with your child. Don’t make the mistake that your teen would never do that. It only takes one bad day, one bad break-up, or maybe they are being harassed and you don’t know about it.
Take the time to have those conversations. You never know when you are potentially saving your child from making the biggest mistake of their lives.
Do you suspect your teen is using drugs? Is it escalating out of control? Have you exhausted your local resources? It might be time for residential therapy. Contact us for more information. Don’t be a parent in denial.