Dealers making it easier to smoke, cheaper to purchase, and more potent to be an addict faster. Heroin is dangerous and deadly and it is a growing concern and trend today.
20/20 ABC News featured an excellent report on this topic. The New Face of a Heroin Addict, which followed the lives of three average all-American families and their addict. (Watch segment on sidebar).
Since 2007, the number of heroin users in the U.S. has nearly doubled, and half of all first-time users are younger than 26 years old, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
This 20/20 ABC News segment should be an episode that every parent with a young teen should stop and watch. It clearly shows that no one is immune to becoming an addict - especially a heroin addict.
As the one addict explains, she was quickly addicted after only a very short time. She thought she was smoking hash, that ended up being heroin, which is highly addictive in comparison to hash. So this mistake has literally created a junkie.
Look for signs of drug use:
- Violent outbursts, disrespectful behavior
- Poor or dropping grades
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Skin abrasions, track marks
- Missing curfew, running away, truancy
- Bloodshot eyes, distinct "skunky" odor on clothing and skin
- Missing jewelry money
- New friends
- Depression, apathy, withdrawal
- Reckless behavior
When you think, not my kid, think again. Addiction can happen to anyone - no matter what their background is or their economic status, addiction kills.
If you are concerned your teen is using drugs, be a responsible parent. If they are under the age of 18 years-old, you can legally get them help without their consent. Once they are 18 years-old or older, they have to be at a point they want to get help.
Residential therapy is a booming business for many desperate parents seeking help for their at-risk teens, especially when they are at their wit's end.
Take the time to do your research - visit Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc. This organization helps educate and guide parents to find safe and quality schools and programs. They are a long standing member of the Better Business Bureau.
Stop making excuses and start be a proactive parent.