It’s cheap, and it’s everywhere.

For these reasons alone, heroin offers an appeal to teenagers that other drugs just can’t match. Factor in peer pressure, the need to self-medicate, or just plain, simple teenage curiosity, and it’s easy to see why heroin is making an alarming comeback in the United States.

As a parent, you can’t afford to remain blind to the terrifying truth surrounding this dangerous and highly addictive drug.

  1. A Growing Trend
    When abused, opioids have similar effects to heroin, so it’s an easy switch. Heroin is less expensive and much easier to get. American teens between the ages of 12 and 17 who have tried heroin increased by 300% from 1995 to 2002, a mere seven years.

    In 2012, 156,000 people over the age of 12 admitted to trying heroin for the first time, leading to a total of approximately 669,000 heroin users that year.

  2. Often Starts with Prescribed Painkillers
    Teens are at higher risk of developing a heroin addiction if they’re prescribed heavy painkillers, like OxyContin, following surgery. The calm, euphoric feeling these painkillers provide is new and intriguing to teens, and once they run out, many go off in search of a replacement high. When they discover they can get illegal drugs much cheaper (and more easily) underground, teens often resort to heroin use for their regular fix.
  3. Cheap
    Teens can buy drugs like heroin online or find out by word-of-mouth who’s selling. For about $10, they can buy a fix that will last a few hours. What they don’t know is that this deadly combination causes slowed breathing and a reduced heart rate and can be fatal.
  4. Available Almost Anywhere
    Think heroin is a poor kid’s drug? Think again. Not all heroin users hang out on the streets in bad sections of towns or big cities. “Rich kids” are susceptible to drug abuse because of access to money, a pressure to be successful, and/or a lack of attention from parents.
  5. Easy to Use for a Quick Fix
    Teens can smoke heroin or inhale it as well as inject it. The euphoric high is immediate. For kids looking for something with a bigger kick than marijuana or alcohol, the lure of heroin’s immediate and relaxing high is enticing.
  6. More Addictive Than Alcohol and Other Drugs
    Heroin is more addictive than alcohol or marijuana and stronger drugs like barbiturates, cocaine, and LSD. It has a very high tolerance rate, meaning the user has to take more and more to get the same high. Developing such a high physical dependence can increase the risk of an overdose despite many users knowing its fatal consequences.
  7. “Not My Kid!”
    Many well-intentioned parents mistakenly think their teens are immune to the dangers of heroin because their kids hang out with a nice crowd, are good students, and/or play sports. When parents arm themselves with information about heroin use, they can effectively monitor their kids and, in some cases, even save their children’s lives.

If you’re concerned your teen may be using drugs, reach out to the caring professionals at Pyramid Healthcare. We provide inpatient and outpatient treatment for substance abuse, offering help and hope to those suffering from addiction.

Author's Bio: 

Pyramid Healthcare offers detox, inpatient and outpatient services for teens recovering from drug abuse at locations throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us today to see how we can help.