Rise of Heroin Addiction
In recent years heroin addiction, in particular teen heroin addiction, has seen an unfortunate upward trend. There are several reasons for this sad course of events and it presents some specific and frightening problems.
Causes of Heroin Addiction
One of the primary causes of this sharp increase in teen heroin abuse is the widespread availability and the normalization of opiate based prescription drugs such as Vicodin and Oxycontin. Because abuse of these drugs has become so widespread and socially acceptable, heroin is no longer seen by many teens as such a dangerous and taboo drug to engage in. This decreased fear factor surrounding heroin, combined with its relative low price has played a major role in the increase of teen addiction to heroin. Drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin can run from around $30 to $75 for just one pill, where as you can get a bag of heroin for around $10 and achieve the same high that you could with the prescription opiate drug counterparts. In many cases teens will begin with use of a prescription opiate, when that becomes too expensive or difficult to find they are forced to move onto the cheaper and readily available opiate, heroin. For this and other reasons, many young teens experience a gateway effect from these opiate prescription drugs leading them to heroin. Furthermore, adult heroin use has actually been on the decline in recent years prompting heroin dealers to target a younger and younger crowd whose addiction rates are increasing.
Heroin Addiction and Young People
This drug, obviously, can wreak havoc on an individual and there are particular risks associated with this increase in teen heroin use that are unique to this age group. One of the biggest risks is the fact that heroin is highly addictive and very dangerous to use, often resulting in drug overdose or other physical problems from brain damage to death. Not to mention the fact that it is an illegal substance and if caught with the drug you can face serious legal ramifications. But for teens, unlike adults, they may be much more hesitant to reach out and as for help, even after they realize the extent of their problem and their desire to receive help. Often times teens are afraid to tell their parents and they don’t want their peers to find out for fear of social ridicule. Compounding all of this is the simple fact that young people tend to be a bit more reckless in their actions. This is exceptionally dangerous given the specific dosing needs of the drug and its fatal nature.
Treatment for Heroin Addiction
There are many facilities that deal with heroin addiction and even some who focus on adolescents battling heroin addiction. There are Suboxone and other drug treatments to help regulate the cravings and addiction. However one can quickly gain a tolerance to these drugs so it is important to seek help early. What’s most important is to be available to teens when they fall victim to heroin abuse, and to educate them as to the dangers of this terrible drug. There are those out there who believe that it is safer to snort or smoke the drug than it is to shoot the drug. Heroin is dangerous regardless of method and there is no such thing as a casual heroin habit, it will kill you if the cycle is not broken.