Jun 04, 2012
Heroin used to be a drug that was synonymous with poverty, crime and destitution. Unfortunately, heroin abuse is now affecting America’s youth, especially suburban teenagers. Within the past few years, many state health departments nationwide have been reporting rises in heroin use and overdoses in teens.
The Missouri Health Department saw heroin overdoses jump from 69 cases in 2007 to 244 cases in 2011, with more than half of all heroin-associated deaths claiming individuals between the ages of 15 and 35. In New Mexico, heroin has become the fastest growing drug problem, surpassing cocaine and meth. According to a local New Mexico news station, KRQE, an estimated $300,000 worth of heroin is sold every day in Albuquerque to kids and adults.
As new laws are passed to crack down on the distribution of prescription painkillers, individuals are also starting to find alternate drugs to satisfy their cravings. Opiate dependency can produce cravings so intense that many people will consider using heroin (although it is widely known to be extremely dangerous) if they are not able to obtain pills. Heroin is also cheaper than opiate pharmaceuticals, making it an easier option for younger users.
Many narcotics officials are learning that often times young heroin abusers are first introduced to the drug at local high school parties.
In order to identify if a young adult is abusing heroin, be mindful of any change in personality that may indicate a dependency, like social withdrawal, lack of emotion or decreased activity. Parents can also keep an eye out for drug paraphernalia, such as burned aluminum foil, hypodermic syringes or burned spoons. If you are a parent and you’re concerned that your child may be abusing heroin, it is very important to keep an open dialogue and discuss the dangers of the drug with your children.
If you have any questions regarding heroin or other opiates, please leave a comment as I am happy to answer your questions or address any concerns.