Heroin Use Among Teens
Although there has been significant progress in the fight against prescription drug abuse, the crackdown has resulted in an increase in heroin use by teenagers. Heroin is a cheaper and more dangerous alternative, and is derived from the poppy plant, just like prescription pain pills.
Parents are urged to be vigilant and monitor changes in the behavior of their children. Some warning signs of either pain pill or heroin abuse are missing pills from the home, behavioral changes, including a loss of interest in school, extracurricular activities and friends, indifference or sleepiness or constant requests for money with nothing to show for their purchases. A hallmark sign of teen heroin abuse is needle marks on the arms or wearing long-sleeved shirts.
“Parents should not hesitate force their kid to seek help for this,” said Dr. John Gay, an Athens, Ohio psychologist that treats addiction. “This is such a critical condition, and it’s progressive. It’s important to get help as soon as you can.”
Studies show that the earlier the addiction is addressed and successfully treated, the greater the chances are of achieving a long-term recovery and abstinence.