Heroin Addiction in Teenagers and Young Adults

Heroin Addiction Although heroin isn’t as popular among teenagers in comparison with other drugs, it is still a significant problem. Heroin substance use and abuse gravely affects all users, regardless of age, and it is important that parents and other family members of teenagers and young adults are aware of this.

Statistics for substance abuse compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that in 2010, the average age for first time users was 21.3. This is significantly lower than 2009, when the average age was 25.5 years. The data shows that in 2011, 1.6% or 42 million Americans age 12 and above had tried heroin at least once during their lifetime.

How is Heroin Used and How Can Addiction be Treated?

Heroin can be used in many ways. Some choose to inject it, while others opt to inhale it through smoking, sniffing, or snorting. Any of these options transport the drug to the brain at a rapid rate.

Statistics for substance abuse reports that heroin users who inject the drug experience a dry mouth, clouded mental functioning, and heaviness. After this initial feeling, the user will go into a wakeful and drowsy state. Although users who don’t inject won’t feel the initial so-called rush, the effects are just the same.

It is crucial to understand that the substance use and abuse of heroin alters the way the brain functions. One of the effects is tolerance, as with frequent use, a higher quantity of the drug is needed to gain the same effect. Heroin use also breeds dependence, which is characterized by the need to constantly use the drug to feel the desired effects.

Heroin Addiction To find out if your child is using heroin or other drugs, consider the following questions:

  • Are his or her school grades dropping?
  • Is there a sudden change in behavior?
  • Is there a sudden change in hygiene habits?
  • Are there times when they’re not coherent or seem unable to think well?
  • Are there times when they become tired easily or are hyperactive for no reason?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, there is a possibility that your child is affected by substance use and abuse.

There are various treatments for heroin addiction in teenagers, including medication and behavioral therapy. Counselling can help addicted individuals put an end to using heroin and go back to living productive, stable lives. Medications such as Methadone and Buprenorphine help to reduce cravings for the drug. Naloxone is also used at times to counteract the result of heroin overdose.

Based on heroin addiction statistics for substance abuse in teenagers, it is important for parents to be mindful of their children’s behavior. Parents can’t just dismiss the possibility of their children using heroin because it seems “unlikely” for them to come across such a substance. Be vigilant and aware, offering professional help before heroin addiction takes hold or worsens.


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