It is among many parent’s worst nightmares: Their son or daughter is using heroin. Unfortunately, by the time a parent realizes that their teen is using heroin, addiction has already set in. What follows is often a roller coaster ride as parents try desperately to get help for their child.
But what are the chances that your kid will get caught up with heroin? That’s not a “typical” teen drug, right? Most kids experiment with pot, alcohol, maybe ecstasy. Not that these drugs are without harm or risks, but most parents can at least wrap their heads around those. Heroin is a “hard” drug, and it is most often injected. No one wants to think that their son or daughter is an IV drug user, but the reality is that it is becoming more and more common.
Kids who are well-behaved, get good grades and come from loving homes are overdosing on heroin.
Recent reports have uncovered an alarming trend. More and more teens are using and becoming addicted to heroin. Why is this happening? Heroin isn’t exactly a gateway drug, so how is it that kids are getting a hold of it so early?
The answer lies in the real gateway drug: Pills.
It used to be that kids went to parties and were confronted with alcohol and marijuana, ecstasy or cocaine. But now, many teens get involved with prescription opiates such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, and Codeine.
A lot of kids don’t recognize the dangers of “pill popping.” Many of these drugs are found at home, in their parent’s or grandparent’s medicine cabinets, so teens just don’t see a real problem with it. They may start out using other pills, such as Ritalin to help them succeed in school. They may also try benzos, such as Xanax, to help them alleviate anxiety. Pills like Oxycontin and Vicodin are often taken to help relax and have fun in social situations.
Mixing these pills with alcohol and other drugs is common, and dangerous. Teens take the pills with little regard for what the effects are or what will happen when they get addicted. Unfortunately, this happens quickly.
The pills themselves present their own risks, as kids who don’t fully understand what they are taking can overdose, or get behind the wheel.
So where does heroin come into play?
At some point, the pills become too hard to get, or too expensive. By comparison, heroin is cheaper and depending on where you live, easier to obtain.
While your average suburban kid wouldn’t generally dream of shooting heroin, by the time he or she is addicted to prescription opiates, a cheap bag of heroin doesn’t look too bad.
Overdose is a very real danger. Kids are coming into emergency rooms right and left having taken too much. In addition to overdosing, HIV and hepatitis C are common consequences of heroin use.
In addition, behavioral issues and risks associated with using and buying drugs can wreak havoc on young lives.
For parents and family members, constant worry and frustration make life unbearable. Your teen won’t listen and doesn’t seem to see the risk. He or she may be disappearing and hanging out with people that are committing crimes. You’re once vibrant, active son or daughter is lethargic, sick and out of it. What do you do?
When it comes to teens and heroin addiction you can’t act too quickly. There really isn’t any such things as “recreational” heroin use. If your teen has moved from pills to heroin, he or she is addicted and will not stop without help.
You may think that stricter rules or better supervision will help but rarely is that the case when dealing with a full-blown addiction. If your teen is dependent on opiates, he will begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms as soon as eight hours after his last dose. Once this point is reached, he will go to any lengths to get heroin and avoid getting sick.
The behavior that is often associated with heroin abuse includes lying, stealing from family, other criminal activities, manipulation, aggression, suicidal thoughts and severe depression and anxiety.
Heroin addiction will not go away on its own, it is not a phase and it requires professional help.
Getting help in the form of an adolescent intervention is often the best solution for this problem. The advantage to an adolescent intervention is that not only is your teen getting the help and support that she needs, but so is the rest of the family.
Intervention works. 90% of interventions result in the addicted person getting into treatment. An adolescent intervention specialist is trained to help kids understand the gravity of the situation and get to a place where they are willing to accept help. It isn’t easy, and the intervention process is often emotional, but the end result is the beginning of healing.
Teens who get help for their heroin addiction in the form of treatment have successful outcomes. They are able to get time to heal and recover, and learn new coping skills and strategies to help them stay focused and on the right track once treatment has ended.
An adolescent intervention should be considered as soon as you know that your teen is using opiates.
Intervention services, Inc. has been helping families heal and recover for years. They specialize in adolescent interventions and not only help your teen but also help you and the rest of your family. From the time you call them, they are there for you throughout the process.
Intervention is a tool that can help you restore normalcy to your family and get your child back. Call today at 1-877-478-4621 to learn more and get started.