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.
Residential therapy is usually considered after parents have exhausted all their local resources.
For those over 18 years old, Broward County offers Broward Addiction Recovery Center.
Stop making excuses and start be a proactive parent.