It’s no surprise that drug and alcohol abuse is common amongst teens. And heroin—one of the most potent drugs to become addicted to—is widespread. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that two percent of eighth and tenth graders have tried heroin in recent years. The same report disclosed that three percent of twelfth graders have also used heroin. Teens and heroin use is nothing to be ignored as an estimated 25% of people who experiment become addicted.
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What Are the Reasons for Teen Heroin Use?
There are many reasons why teens are using heroin. First, heroin is an easy drug for teens to access. It is inexpensive and can easily be shared at unsupervised parties. Second, teens who feel anxious or depressed cite heroin as a way to calm their nerves. And although the first use of heroin is typically unpleasant, many users admit they vomited, the drug does make people feel happy and extremely relaxed. This feeling often makes teens desire to use heroin more so that they can experience a relaxing high.
Signs a Teen Needs Heroin Addiction Treatment
When a teen begins using heroin, it is easy to detect its use because physical and behavioral changes become apparent.
- Sleeping more than normal
- Weight loss
- Nodding off and slurred speech
- Itchy skin
- Unkempt personal appearance
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unable to pay attention in school
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of short-term memory
- Less self-control
- Not making clear decisions
- Mood swings
Teens who display these signs of heroin abuse may only find relief in a heroin addiction treatment center. There, substance abuse counselors can help them learn why they began using and how to build healthy habits that replace heroin.
Long -Term Impact of Teen Heroin Use
There are many effects of teens abusing heroin. Since teenagers who use drugs tend to remain addicted longer in their adult lives, it is essential to help teens realize how it can hurt them. The most noted effects of heroin abuse include:
- Infections at the site of needle injections
- Chronic conditions such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS
- The inability to take care of oneself
- Drug overdose and, in some cases, death
Often, teens only focus on the present instead of their future. A substance abuse counselor helps teens see the healing process as a chance to start over and live life without drug addiction. These counselors often work in tandem with other medical professionals to help teens detox and heal from their addiction.
Teen Substance Abuse Treatment to Fight Heroin Abuse
Helping teens with heroin addiction is a process that begins with detox. This usually takes place in a hospital setting or specialized drug abuse treatment facility. After the withdrawal symptoms have subsided, counselors help teens understand why they became addicted and how to prevent relapse in the future.
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